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Government lets unapproved genetically engineered crops enter food supply

By Gary Bogue
Monday, January 19th, 2009 at 7:04 am in Genetically engineered crops, Government.

More from the Jan. 2009 Union of Concerned Scientists Food & Environment News Roundup:

AGENCIES REBUFF CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATORS ON ENGINEERED CROPS

A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, criticized the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allowing unapproved genetically engineered crops to enter the food supply.

The GAO suggested several steps the agencies should take to prevent further contamination, including a recommendation to monitor genetically engineered crops after they are approved for commercial production.

The three agencies ignored the recommendation despite the fact that unapproved genetically engineered crops are known to have contaminated the food supply six times since 2000, not counting an incident in December 2008 in which an experimental variety of cottonseed contaminated animal feed.

“After 20 years of halfhearted effort, the federal government is still unable to protect the food supply from unapproved genetically altered crops,” said Jane Rissler, a senior scientist and deputy director of the Food and Environment Program. “The Obama administration needs to overhaul our agricultural biotechnology rules and adopt the GAO’s recommendations.”

For more on the GAO report, go to http://gao.gov/products/GAO-09-60.

For more on the recent cottonseed contamination and USDA’s efforts to weaken its biotechnology regulations, go to http://www.ucsusa.org/news/media_alerts/usda-farewell-gift-to-biotech-0171.html

Be aware of what goes on around you in the real world and definitely know what you’re eating. It’s important to your health. /Gary

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