Friday, September 19, 2008

from GE plants to GE animals

Here's a statement just out from the Consumers' Union (nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports)

For Immediate Release: September 18, 2008Contact:Jean Halloran, 914.378.2457Dr. Michael Hansen, 917.774.3801

Statement of Consumers Union

Consumers Union finds it "incomprehensible" that the FDA will not require labeling of genetically engineered animals that are sold as food. Genetically engineered animals may contain genetic material from entirely different species. For example mouse genes have been put into pigs to help them metabolize phosphorous more efficiently, and spider genes have been put into goats so that they produce spider silk in their milk. FDA proposed today that they will only review genetically engineered animals for their safety as food, and will not require any labeling.

"It is incomprehensible to us that FDA does not view these animals as different from their conventional counterparts, and therefore something that under law is required to be labeled," stated Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports. "In our view, consumers have a right to know if the ham, bacon or pork shops they are buying come from pigs that have been engineered with mouse genes."

Consumers Union is also concerned that cows engineered to produce antibiotics in their milk, which can help the cow avoid udder infections, also will not be labeled. "Unlike conventional antibiotics, which must be cleared from the cow before it can be used to produce milk or meat, the antibiotic that is genetically engineered into the animal will always be present. We are concerned both about the potential safety and lack of labeling on such food products," stated Michael Hansen, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at Consumers Union.

My comments:

So just like plant food containing genes from other plant or animal species, these GE animals are not considered different from the original animal and don't need to be tested? If they are the same, why do the biotech companies take out patents on their version? And engineering anitibiotics into animals so they can continue to raise them in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions. We are already having problems with germs becoming resistant because of overuse of anitbiotics. This could have major implications.

We need these foods to be labeled so consumers have a choice!

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