USA Only Remaining Stronghold for GE GM Foods
|March 30, 2004||Posted by Staff under Progress Report, The Progress Report|
USA in Last Place for Food Safety
USA Consumers: Least Informed, Least Protected
Here is a quote from Professor R B Elliot , New Zealand’s distinguished medical researcher:
Re: GE (genetically engineered) foods
I have decided on my personal stance. I do NOT want to eat such foods — I see no health or economic advantage in doing so, and a whole raft of putative health and environmental disadvantages.
Any ‘advantage’ in GE foods as far as I can see is to one or more of the grower of the crop, the GE source company, the Roundup manufacturer etc.
I cannot imagine for a moment that GE food will even be cheaper for me — or anyone.
If Burger King can guarantee that their product contains no GE components — then I will eat their stuff rather than McDonalds etc.
I have discussed this with my staff — who agree that the risk /benefit ratio is infinitely high as however small the personal risk, there is no personal benefit.
And here are excerpts from a recent article in the “Capital Times:”
DOES CORPORATE POWER SILENCE CRITICS?
Last week, the European Union stated that milk from rBGH-treated cows could increase the risk of breast and prostate cancer in humans.
Canada, Japan and Australia have banned the genetically engineered dairy hormone, citing concerns about its effects on animals and humans.
Yet farmers in the United States are injecting rBGH into dairy cows from coast to coast.
“What is it they know in Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan that we don’t?” journalist Steve Wilson asked a University of Wisconsin audience Wednesday.
Plenty, according to Wilson, who maintains that a combination of forces is keeping the U.S. press silent on a critical food safety issue.
Wilson and Jane Akre, two veteran investigative television reporters, discussed the rBGH controversy during this week’s UW- Madison Democracy Teach-In. They were joined by John Stauber of Madison-based PR Watch.
Wilson and Akre were fired by Fox News in Tampa, Fla., after producing a four-part series about the potential risks of rBGH milk. The television station maintains that the husband-wife team were dismissed for being “difficult to work with.” But Wilson and Akre say the reason was their story, which was critical of the hormone and drew the ire of its manufacturer, biotech giant [ Monsanto Co. ]
“In February of 1997, right before the story was set to run, the letters (from Monsanto) started coming, saying the story was all wrong and predicting dire consequences if we ran it,” Akre said.
Several months later, she said, the story was shelved and she and Wilson were out of work.
Who’s to blame, besides the makers of unsafe products and processes? Here are some possibilities:
- The mainstream media. Corporate ownership of major news outlets, concern about angry advertisers and falling standards are causing many journalists to turn away from investigative reporting and toward easier, more simplistic work, he said. When reporters like Wilson and Akre take the initiative, he said, they are often thwarted by their superiors. That silence allows corporations to “spin” their products unchallenged.
- Corporations. With savvy public relations campaigns and deep pockets, corporations like Monsanto have become adept at creating a positive image of products like rBGH even as they silence critics, Stauber said. Such companies also tend to have friends in high places, he contended.
But rBGH could still receive the attention they feel it deserves, the panelists agreed. In December, a U.S. consumer group called on the FDA to pull bovine growth hormone off the market, charging the agency overlooked key evidence about the drug’s safety. (The agency had 180 days to conduct the investigation and either reject the claim or pull the drug.)
In the USA, it seems that manipulation counts more heavily than science in determining safety regulations for us and our children. Why should our children be less safe than those in Canada, Japan and Europe? Tell your opinion to The Progress Report!