Hysteria Overrides Genetic Safety

Published online: Jun 15, 2001
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Dr. Elizabeth Whelan of the Center for Disease Control found this week that there was no evidence that biotech Starlink Corn caused allergic reactions to those who consumed it.

Whelan says when tests first showed traces of the corn in Taco Bell tacos, anti-biotech activists jumped on the fact that the corn was approved for animal, not human use.

But, as new CDC findings support, they went too far in insisting that people who ate the corn would become sick from it. While there was a theory behind why the corn might provoke allergic reactions in some people, the question was whether that hypothesis alone should have been enough to instigate the drastic reaction it prompted. The science shows that it did not.

The challenge that biotech foods are not tested is simply without basis of fact. The FDA thoroughly investigates new bio-engineered foods-that's how they knew there might be a possibility of an allergic reaction to the Cry9C protein, Dr. Ruth Kava, ACSH Director of Nutrition, stated.

"This should be a lesson to us," said Whelan. "Before we create international hysteria about the safety of our food supply we should be presented with at least a modicum of science to justify the concern."