Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

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June 16, 2006

FDA Sued Over GM Food Labels - But US Consumers Strangely Unconcerned

According to a recent article by Julian Watson of UPI, the Center for Food Safety has filed a lawsuit against the FDA to require labeling and pre-market testing of GM-derived - genetically modified - foods. What seems quite normal in European countries - a demand for thorough examination of the science used to justify genetic modification of foods and insistence on being told when a food has been so modified - seems to completely bypass American consumers.


Why is there no apparent concern over the possible dangers of genetic modification? Is it because of controlled press? a weak organic foods movement? too much trust in "authority"? perhaps a combination of several factors? The fact is, US consumers seem strangely unconcerned over what they are eating.

The desire of Big AgroChem to control the food chain by genetic engineering of staple crops has also brought forth two law proposals:

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) recently introduced two bills related to GE crops and foods in the House of Representatives. One bill, HR 5269, The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act of 2006, would require mandatory labeling of all GE foods; the other, HR 5268, The Genetically Engineered Food Safety Act, would require mandatory, pre-market safety testing of GE foods.

If you are American, the Center for Food Safety is asking your help in raising awareness in legislators for this important food safety issue.

But of course, if you are unsure about whether you like to eat foods with genetically modified corn, soy and (canola) oil, tomatoes with fish genes, or the new GM eggplant that kills bugs, do some research about the merits of genetic engineering of foods. Start at the GM Watch site and look around, perhaps get their daily or weekly newsletter.

There are also a few articles on GM issues on this site, which you can find by using the google search window on the top of each page.

Oh yes, why should Europeans and others care whether US consumers are concerned about genetic modification or not? Because our health authorities follow the lead of the FDA in what can almost be called blind faith. At least, if there was some noise from you guys in the US, perhaps it would become more painfully obvious even to our trusting health officials that GM crops have NOT been tested for safety by the FDA...

But for now, here is the UPI article on Food Safety's lawsuit against the FDA...

- - -

Eat To Live: FDA sued over biotech foods
By Julia Watson
United Press International, June 9, 2006

LE BUGUE, France (UPI) -- It's been a conversational curiosity, at the very least, among consumers in Europe, Australia, Japan, and parts of Africa, why Americans don't seem the slightest bit interested in the issue of the genetic engineering of some of their key crops. The nations just mentioned have as little tolerance for biotech foods as legally possible.

Now, however, American consumers may have to reflect upon their complacency.

This week, the Center for Food Safety filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration to force the government to establish mandatory reviews of genetically engineered foods and to label them as genetically modified if the foods are approved for consumption.

The dramatic action comes after six years of waiting without a response from the FDA to a legal petition it lodged, along with over 50 consumer and environmental groups, demanding that biotech food be more meticulously regulated and labeled.

Why would the FDA -- so anxious to protect our health with advisories on food fears from mercury in fish to the pasteurization of young raw milk cheeses -- not want to take a rigorous look on our behalf at industrial science's inalterable tampering with nature?

Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture Inspector General has been appalled by the USDA's handling of field tests of genetically engineered plantings.

As Eat To Live revealed earlier this year, the inspector general's report condemned the USDA for failing to inspect experimental genetically engineered crops and for not insuring they were destroyed after field tests, to protect surrounding farmland.

The prime genetically modified crops grown extensively across the U.S. are corn, soybeans and canola. Europe, pushed by massive consumer unease, has made every effort to resist the entry of genetically engineered crops into its markets. Foods that contain them must be so labeled.

Yet Europe has been under intense pressure by the United States through the World Trade Organization to reverse this stand and allow U.S. biotech crops and products in.

Even the United Nations Cartagena Protocol of Biosafety authorizes member countries, in the case of scientific uncertainty, to take a precautionary approach to regulating biotech crops.

In the United States, no GM labeling is necessary, nor is testing of foods containing biotech crops or by-products compulsory.

European consumers -- and many in the science community -- fear that the restructuring of the genetic composition of a crop by introducing foreign genes -- from other species of plant or even animals -- couldhave an impact on health. They fear so-called 'Frankenfoods' might encourage antibiotic-resistant illnesses, produce new food toxins and generate food allergies.

Farmers are attracted by the higher yields and lower investment in pesticides and time that genetically engineered crops offer. Their creators, like Monsanto, promote the philanthropic message that they could be the instrument for the reduction of world hunger and poverty. They assert that rather than abuse the environment, genetically modified crops make it safer.

Critics of biotech crops and food say that none of these contentions have been properly tested nor have ecological, health and social questions been stringently addressed.

Let's hope there`s enough publicity for the CFS's lawsuit to alert American consumers finally to an issue that has been the concern of much of the rest of the world.

This barbecuing season, when timing everything to be on the table as soon as the burgers come off the grill is tricky, you may like this tip from legendary New York Times food writer Craig Claiborne.

He contended that the best way to cook (genetically unmodified) sweet corn was to bring to the boil a pot of unsalted water, drop in the shucked corn, slam the lid on, bring it back to the boil then immediately turn off the heat under the pot. Leave the corn in for a minimum of 5 minutes -- and a relaxed maximum of 45. It's a method that saves corn that isnt at peak of freshness. Salting the water toughens it.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

YOU can get the "Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act" passed into law!


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Friday June 16 2006
updated on Tuesday December 21 2010

URL of this article:


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Genetically modified soy affects posterity: Results of Russian scientists' studies On October 10 2005, during the symposium over genetic modification, organized by the Russian National Association for Genetic Security (NAGS), Doctor of Biology Irina Ermakova made public the results of research led by her at the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). This is the first research that determined clear dependence between... [read more]
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Schmeiser's Battle for the Seed
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Are Genetically Modified Foods Really Safe?
Are Genetically Modified Foods Really Safe? In the absence of serious studies to answer that question, there is no way to tell. But there is plenty of evidence that tends to tip the scales towards a resounding NO. In his testimony to the Vermont State Agriculture Committee, transcribed with the title "Exposing the Dangers of Genetically Engineered Foods", Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, argues that there is... [read more]
August 27, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger




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