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The Activist Response | The Nation

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The Activist Response

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When the FDA recently released its proposed new rules regarding genetically engineered foods Greenpeace and the Center for Food Safety didn't like the taste. Instead of requiring strict safety testing, the FDA rules compel producers merely to notify the agency 120 days before marketing a GE product. There is no requirement that manufacturers label GE foods. The FDA leaves that decision up to the producers. Now how many are going to note their foods were DNA-altered? Biotech champions, like Monsanto, maintain that genetically engineered foods are safe, but skeptics point to the recent fiasco with StarLink corn to support the argument that the public is at risk without government regulation. Doctors and scientists warn that GE foods could trigger allergies, and point to the recent case of a woman who suffered from anaphylactic shock after eating a taco shell containing the recalled StarLink corn. Today, most of the safety testing of GE products is conducted--if at all--by the corporations responsible for them. Greenpeace Genetic Engineering Specialist, Charles Margulis, maintains that without testing there is no way of knowing that GE foods are safe. Greenpeace and The Center for Food Safety are petitioning the FDA to change the rules, and through postcard and web campaigns hope to bring hundreds of thousands of complaints to the agency before April third when the public comment period on premarket notice ends. Concerned citizens can petition the FDA by visiting the Center for Food Safety's website at www.centerforfoodsafety.org, or Greenpeace at www.greenpeaceusa.org.

About the Author

Kathryn Lewis
Kathryn Lewis, a former Nation intern, is on the editorial staff of Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
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