Sunday, December 07, 2008

Illegal, Experimental, And Potentially Harmful GM Cottonseed Enters Food System

The government announced last week, on December 3, that an unfortunate incident occurred involving an experimental field of genetically engineered cotton.

The cotton - which is not authorized to be consumed by livestock or humans because it is a new experimental variety that contains a gene which produces a pesticide - was harvested and mixed with 20,000 tons of approved commercial cottonseed.

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that most of the contaminated cottonseed was illegally processed into cattle feed that has already been consumed.

Some of it was processed into cottonseed oil.

This is an experimental crop, unapproved for human consumption. Similar crops have been shown to induce or exacerbate allergies, increase inflammation, reduce fertility, and shorten lifespan.

This part is suspicious to me:

The AP said Monsanto told the government of the incident on November 10, nearly a month before the government told us. On November 24, after the USDA knew of the slip-up but before they notified the public, comments were closed on a pending new rule by the USDA that would weaken regulation of the biotech industry ("biotechnology" is another name for genetic engineering or GMOs).

Jeffrey Smith says that accidents such as this are dangerous. (See his article, "US Government Proposal Puts Food Supply at Risk.")

The government says this incident "poses no safety risk to humans or animals."
"While EPA has concluded that consuming small amounts of the cottonseed poses no food or animal feed safety risks, under that Agency’s LLP (low-level presence) policy, the presence of this material in food or feed would be illegal."
The reasons for not eating factory-farmed meat, eggs, and dairy are growing by the day.

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