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Genetically Engineered Foods
Letter from C. H. - GE Food - 23 Apr 2003
I must say that for right now I believe you have picked the wrong battle to fight. GE food products are not something that is terrible for the world. If it can save billions of lives and be safe in the process why fight it. Most campaigns against GE foods come down to them being unsafe and freak foods.
Well I have to assume that when they are tested by 3 different systems including the FDA they are safe. Until someone hands me a complete test of what happens to my body when eating GE foods I will consider them safe.
I for one will say that I do not go hungry everyday. I love growing food in my garden to eat, but I cannot stop other starving people around the world to go hungry because I believe GE foods are dangerous. Basing that on no actual evidence other than they created it so it has to have side effects.
I am not sure how you can cause young children to starve to death everyday simply because YOU do not like what THEY will be eating. I do not believe it is your choice to keep a starving boy or girl from eating GE food that can save their lives. That should be their choice. You have the same choice, but do not assume that you can keep food from other countries. Other people just because you would rather everyone eat organic food. Is eating moldy or rotten bread good for them? Definitely not but they are still forced to eat those foods because they have no other choice.
My intent was not to anger anyone with this message. Just to see if we can let everyone decide for him or herself what THEY should be eating.
Your letter regarding GE foods was forwarded to me for answering. I am an opponent of GE foods and lecture on the subject.
I wanted to respectfully answer each of your points because I believe that you are unaware of the real and uncertain implications for human health and the environment of the proliferation of GE foods. You do not know the facts of the damage that they can do.
You said "My intent was not to anger anyone with this message. Just to see if we can let everyone decide for him or herself what THEY should be eating."
I'll start with your closing idea. The trouble is, everyone is NOT able to decide for him or herself what they should be eating because GE foods are not labeled in the USA. Without labeling of GE products, the choice has been taken away from us, unless we purchase organically grown foods (and even with organic foods there is a risk of GE contamination - see further below).
You also said that GE foods are tested by three different systems including the FDA. The FDA does not test GE foods for safety or anything else. No US government agency tests the safety of genetically altered foods. This is fact. They rely on industry tests. It's like the honor system. They are relying on the industry to monitor itself. When it comes to our food safety, I do not believe that industry should monitor itself. It didn't work in the tobacco industry, it doesn't work in the chemical industry and I know it's not working in the food industry.
GE food is classified by our government as "substantially equivalent" to non-GE food, however there were no tests of any kind done to establish this designation. In 1991 during the first Bush administration a post was created in the FDA called, I think, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy. Michael Taylor, a lawyer working for Monsanto on policy issues, was revolved into the FDA to be this Deputy Commission and to write the policy for GE food. He wrote the pro GE policy despite the vigorous objection of the FDA's own scientists whose opinions were overridden. After Michael Taylor wrote this policy, he was revolved back out of the FDA to the private sector again - a job at Monsanto awaited him. You've heard of the "revolving door policy" in our government. This shameful history only served private industry and not the people (consumers) who are supposed to be protected by the FDA.
Some prominent researchers, lawyers and writers opposed to GE include David Suzuki, Vandana Shiva, Mae-Wan Ho, Steve Druker, Brian Tokar, Andrew Kimbrell, Joe Cummins, and Arpad Pusztai. Put any of these names into a search engine for more information.
See: Genetically Engineered Potatoes
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