UNAPPROVED biotech (GE) corn found, feds say ‘no safety risk’

February 23, 2008

Why this matters:

“Transgenes or upregulated plant genes may give rise to toxicants, anti-nutrients, allergens and, putatively, also carcinogenic or co-carcinogenic substances.”

Untested, unapproved, unlabeled, toxic, allergy-creating, cancer-causing, antibiotic resistant foods are making their way to your table.

In a USDA, FDA, EPA press release issued late Friday:

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are coordinating efforts following notification by Dow AgroSciences that the company detected extremely low levels of an unregistered genetically engineered (GE) pesticide product known as a plant-incorporated protectant (PIP) in 3 of its commercial GE hybrid corn seed lines. The unregistered product produces proteins that are identical to a registered product. USDA, EPA and FDA have concluded that there are no public health, food or feed safety concerns. Additionally, USDA and EPA have determined that the unregistered GE corn PIP poses no plant pest or environmental concerns.”

Corn seed produced by Dow AgroSciences and grown in Iowa has been contaminated with an unapproved biotech variety since 2006, the company and government officials disclosed Friday.

Federal officials said that there was no risk to humans or livestock from the grain and that it won’t be recalled. However, Dow has recalled the contaminated seed that was sold for the 2008 crop.

Most of the contaminated corn was planted in Iowa and most of the recalled seed had been distributed in the state, according to the company.

It is the latest in a series of incidents in which unapproved biotech varieties of corn and rice have made their way into seed or grain supplies. The first incident occurred in 2000 when a genetically modified corn variety known as StarLink was found in food products despite not having been approved for human consumption.

The contamination occurred when pollen from the unapproved biotech corn stalks landed on a patch of approved stalks, said Garry Hamlin, a spokesman for Dow. Both types of plants were growing in the same research plot.

Dow discovered the contaminated seed while doing some testing last month and notified the government Jan. 25, Hamlin said.

The contaminated seed was sold by Dow affiliate Mycogen Seeds under the labels Herculex RW and Herculex XTRA. The seed is genetically engineered to make the plants toxic to insect pests.

The Environmental Protection Agency state that the contaminated grain posed no safety risk because the proteins produced by the unapproved Dow variety, known as Event 32, were identical to the proteins in an approved variety, known as Event 22.

Jerome Peribere, president and chief executive of Dow AgroSciences, said he is “disappointed” with the incident and that the company would re-evaluate its procedures to prevent a reoccurrence.

For additional information on the health hazards of biotech crops go to: 50 Harmful Effects of Genetically Modified Food and The Campaign

Sources:http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/e4cfca6dc6b9847985257359003f5336/d6e59239f16a8fa1852573f7006c1fc3!OpenDocument, http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080222/BUSINESS/80222036/-1/SPORTS01, http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200802221659DOWJONESDJONLINE000846_FORTUNE5.htm

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