The following may be of interest and shows the kinds of simple and
well founded things that can and should be done to refute the shoddy
logic expressed by industry lapdogs (even here) and turn the tide.
More of this is needed on both the public health and environmental
safety fronts - meaning that other governmental agencies with
oversight should be petitioned. When enough data accumulates to
justify initiating lawsuits, these petitions will help provide a basis
for including these agencies themselves, should they fail to act
The article can be seen at:
Natural Products Trade Group Petitions
FDA for Stronger Oversight of GM Foods
12/21/99 The National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA), a
natural products trade group, has filed a Citizen Petition with the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking that the agency strengthen
its evaluation process of genetically modified foods before allowing
them to be sold.
The NNFA was critical of the FDA's current policy that essentially
treats genetically engineered foods the same as conventional
"NNFA aims to ensure that the market entry of genetically modified
foods does not outpace thorough scientific evaluations of their
safety," said the association's president, Patrick Toomey.
Under the FDA's current policy, developed in 1992, a manufacturer
can market a new genetically modified food if it convinces the FDA,
through a ``private consultation,'' that the food is ``substantially
equivalent'' to an existing substance already in the food supply.
NNFA maintains that this process falls short in three areas:
it is voluntary, not mandatory
the substantial equivalence examination lacks well-defined risk
the process lacks the transparency needed for adequate public
health protection because it is not open to participation by
As grounds for more careful scrutiny of genetically modified foods,
the NNFA cites the unintended and potentially harmful side effects
of these foods, such as the 1996 discovery of a Brazil nut allergen
in transgenic soybeans and the more recent toxic effect of
genetically modified corn on the Monarch butterfly.
"Nothing should be taken for granted when assessing the safety of a
particular substance intended for human consumption that is derived
from the emerging science of genetic engineering," the petition
To view the NNFA’s full petition, visit their website at www.nnfa.org.
Edited by Pam Ahlberg
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