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HOW TO AVOID
GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD

In response to the Food and Drug Administration's failure to require labeling for genetically engineered (GE) food, Greenpeace has released the True Food Shopping List, a detailed list of thousands of products made with ingredients from genetically altered corn, soy, canola, and other crops. The international environmental organization contacted dozens of food companies to determine whether or not they have taken action to eliminate genetically engineered ingredients from their products.

"Consumers should not be used as guinea pigs by companies who continue to sell genetically contaminated food," said Jeanne Merrill, Greenpeace True Food Network coordinator. "Since the FDA refuses to protect consumers and the environment, Greenpeace created the Shopping List. The Shopping List gives consumers who want to avoid geneticallyengineered foods a fighting chance."

Organized like supermarket aisles, the True Food Shopping List covers dozens of foods in each of 20 categories, including baby food, cereal, frozen foods, snacks and soups. The "Red" list shows genetically engineered foods, such as Kellogg's Corn Flakes. The "Green" list shows alternatives made by companies that have eliminated genetically engineered ingredients. The "Yellow" transitional list includes products made by companies that are working to eliminate genetically engineered ingredients.

Recently, store-bought Taco Bell taco shells tested positive for a variety of genetically engineered corn, called StarLink, that is not approved for human consumption. Kraft, which produces the supermarket brand shells, voluntarily recalled the tainted product. Aventis, the biotech company that makes the GE corn found in the taco shells, said it would stop selling the seed. The Agriculture Department said on Friday that it would broker the entire remaining StarLink crop for Aventis, to insure that it is only sold for feed. On Monday, FDA finally announced an official recall notice for the Kraft Taco Bell taco shells, and said that it would begin testing other corn products for contamination. The agency acknowledged that the engineered corn could cause "temporary adversehealth effects."

"Clearly, Americans can't trust the biotech industry to keep its genetic experiments out of our shopping carts," said Charles Margulis, Greenpeace genetic engineering specialist. "While food companies have eliminated genetically engineered ingredients in Europe, the Shopping List is the only way American consumers can avoid GE-contaminated food."

Kellogg's and other food giants have already stopped using genetically engineered food in Europe, but these companies continue to use the experimental crops here. In Japan, Australia, Russia and throughout Europe, genetically engineered food must be labeled. Many companies have announced that their products in these countries will exclude genetically engineered ingredients. But in the U.S., the FDA has sided with the biotech industry in opposing mandatory labeling. Instead, FDA says that standards for "voluntary" labeling of GE or non-GE foods will soon be announced.


Written by: Greenpeace USA


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