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Source: Alternet.org (November 22, 2000)
HIGHTOWER: What's In Your Cornflakes?
Jim Hightower, AlterNet
November 21, 2000
Would you like to have your morning cornflakes served with milk, fruit, and bugkiller...or would you just as soon pass on the bugkiller?
Unfortunately, you might not have a choice if Aventis Inc. gets its way. This biotech seed conglomerate, based in France, sells a genetically-altered corn seed that it calls StarLink. The company's bioengineers have genetically inserted into these seeds a protein that acts as a pesticide, killing bugs that feed on corn plants.
Such tampering with Mother Nature can have consequences, of course, and one of the human health problems posed by this pesticide-spiked corn is that it might prompt allergic reactions in our bodies -- reactions ranging from rashes to a fatal case of shock.
Because of this, the EPA has approved StarLink corn only for animal feed, not for human consumption. But -- whoops -- there was no labeling and tracking of the altered corn, which was planted by U.S. farmers on 350,000 acres this year. So, instead of going strictly to animal feed, StarLink corn has become mixed into our food supply. Aventis faces a $100 million loss if it has to recall all of this crop from grain elevators, food processors, and supermarkets.
But, wait -- Aventis has a better idea! It has asked the EPA simply to grant its pesticide-contaminated corn a special four-year approval for human consumption. This is perfect -- the corporation won't have to eat a big loss, the industry won't have to fuss with a recall, and within four years the corn will have worked its way through the marketing system. The only downside is that the StarLink corn also will work its way through your system. But, hey, you're just a consumer, so shut up and eat your cornflakes.
This is Jim Hightower saying...If you don't want your family to be experimented on just for the convenience of biotech food manipulators, call the Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods: 425-771-4049.
The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods can also be found on the web at: http://www.thecampaign.org/. They make it easy for you to send comments to congress, EPA and the Media. Also you can sign their petition that will be sent to the FDA and USDA.
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