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Take Action Against Genetically Engineered Meat

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Sunday, November 16, 2008 10:29 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Protecting your Family, Food Safety, Genetic Engineering, FDA, Anaphylactic Shock, Allergies, Toxins


IMAGE SOURCE:© True Food Network – The Center For Food Safety

While it may sound like science fiction to create animals in a lab – it is happening right now; goats engineered to produce silk in their milk, genetically engineered salmon, which grows twice as fast and pigs engineered with mouse and bacterial DNA to improve digestion.

Sooner than you might expect, these genetically engineered animals may be heading to your local supermarket.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is accepting public comments on its draft guidance for the commercialization of GE animals, paving the way for grocery stores to sell food made from genetically engineered animals. And the agency proposes these products be sold without your knowing.

Few studies have been conducted to determine the safety of genetically engineered foods to human health. Many experts believe GE foods have been rushed to market too quickly – to boost multinational profit margins – before adequate testing has been completed to ensure public safety.

Allergic reactions and other possible health risks

Genetic engineering involves the transfer of new and unidentified proteins from one food to the other, which can potentially set off severe allergic reactions in some people. Allergies are more than a matter of discomfort, they can result in life-threatening anaphylactic shock for some.

Without proper labeling, people with severe allergies are unaware if the foods they are consuming contain genes from other foods to which they are allergic.

Some scientists also say genetic engineering may produce new toxins, with potentially devastating results to humans.

Genetic engineers use antibiotic markers in most genetically modified organisms to indicate that the organism has been engineered successfully. As such many scientists believe these antibiotic markers possibly contribute to the decreasing effectiveness of antibiotics against harmful diseases.

The agency draft guidance would treat GE animals under its new animal drug provisions. While the new guidance would require a long-overdue review process, the proposed FDA rules are seriously flawed.

Under the draft, the public is unaware if a product has met the highest scientific standard until after approval. And the product cannot be avoided in the grocery store because it is not labeled as such. The FDA feels they deserve the trust of the public, but it refuses to give the necessary tools to verify it is doing its job in a fair and adequate manner.

November 18 is deadline for public comment. Until then, consumers have a chance to tell the FDA to ban the use of GE animals for food. If these animals are to be considered – the agency must require labeling of GE animal food products – an open, transparent and participatory review process that includes meaningful consideration of the ethical and environment implications of GE animals.

** PLEASE NOTE: All persons who submit a comment should know the comments will be posted publicly on the regulations.gov website. Please do not share any personal information that you do not wish to have publicly posted such as your phone number and home address. #

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