CONSUMER RIGHT TO KNOW CAMPAIGN
for mandatory labelling and long-term testing of genetically engineered
Natural Law Party, 500 Wilbrod, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N2
tel: 613-565-8517 * fax: 613-565-1596
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org * website:
For Immediate Release
10,000 Canadians petition health officials
for mandatory labelling of genetically engineered foods
December 20, 1997
Over 10,000 petitions were delivered to the federal ministry of health
offices this week calling for mandatory labelling of genetically
foods. As part of the Consumer Right to Know Campaign, petitions from
concerned citizens were brought in from across Canada and presented to
"Dozens of genetically engineered are already on the Canadian market,
unlabelled and mixed in with other foods," says Richard Wolfson, PhD,
of the Consumer Right to Know Campaign which has membership in all
"Soybeans, tomatoes, potatoes, corn and canola oil, as well as hundreds
other foods containing genetically engineered ingredients are already in
Canadian stores, unlabelled, even though they have not been tested for
their long-term effects on human health," Dr. Wolfson said.
According to Ed Napke, MD, Former Chief of the Products Related Disease
Division of HPB, who attended the meeting, "Genetically engineered foods
should be labelled so that consumers can read the label and know what
are eating. Also, should a problem arise, without labelling there is no
way of tracing who has or has not eaten these genetically manipulated
"Having the proper labelling, people who have eaten these foods can
identify themselves to any epidemiological study, by either government or
scientists who are investigating the potential of adverse effects from
these foods, either in long-term or acute cases," Dr. Napke said. "It is
only common sense that in studying the effects of hidden genetically
engineered foods or ingredients on humans, these products need to be
labelled and easily identified for the consumer. Without labelling, it
will be very difficult if not impossible to trace or even identify any
health problems or toxic effects should they occur."
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Dr. Napke continued, "Of equal importance, I believe it is the right of
Canadians to choose whether they wish to consume these foods. If these
foods are not labelled, this right has been dictatorially taken away."
"I have a respect for science, but I do not have a total acceptance of
science being infallible, especially when applied to humans and other
forms. For instance, we have seen with the recent Krever inquiry, due to
the failure to label blood properly, recipients could not be identified
a timely manner, which ended up risking the health of thousands of
Canadians," said Dr. Napke.
Dr. Wolfson added, "In addition to labelling, these foods should not even
be brought on the market until they have been tested and proven safe for
their long-term effects on health and on the environment. Consumer health
and the environment is being risked for the sake of biotech profit."
Advocates against genetically engineered foods cite the case in which 40
North Americans died in 1989 and over 1500 were permanently disabled due
the unexpected toxic side effects of a genetically engineered food
supplement, genetically modified tryptophan.
Earlier this year in Mississippi, genetically engineered cotton failed
miserably and unexpectedly, resulting in losses of up to millions of
dollars for individual farmers. "Field tests in Europe have shown that
genetically engineered canola plants are causing 'biological pollution'
spreading their mutant DNA characteristics to neighboring plants. Other
tests have shown that gene-spliced crops are harming or killing
insects and pollinators such as Ladybugs (Ladybirds) and honey bees, and
that pests are rapidly developing resistance to gene-altered Bt crops,"
Last year in Europe, consumers and retailers united and earned government
support for stricter policies and labeling of GE foods. Major food
throughout Europe are either segregating or labelling genetically
engineered foods due to overwhelming concern from consumers about health
risks. And just this fall, Japanese retailers collected one million
signatures demanding labeling.
"Why are we falling behind in North America, and bowing to pressure from
biotech companies who want to bring their products on the market as
as possible in spite of risks. This is not just another consumer cause;
the risks of genetic engineering on health and on the environment are
enormous. Let us at least label these foods so that any effects can be
properly monitored, and so that we can choose for ourselves whether we
to be part of this dangerous experiment on our food supply," Dr. Wolfson
Richard Wolfson, Ph.D.
For complete background on the hazards of genetically engineered foods,
see the website: http://www.natural-law.ca/genetic/geindex.html
Richard Wolfson, PhD
Consumer Right to Know Campaign,
for Mandatory Labelling and Long-term
Testing of all Genetically Engineered Foods,
500 Wilbrod Street
Ottawa, ON Canada K1N 6N2
Our website, http://www.natural-law.ca/genetic/geindex.html
contains more information on genetic engineering.
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