FDA GMO Labeling -- comment period

Santa Barbara, CA

I encourage all to send comments to the FDA by April 3 during this comment period on the proposed rules regarding gmos and labeling.


FDA GE deadline - April 3 - Act Now

It is vital that US citizens respond to this consultation exercise before 3 April.

>TELL THE FDA THAT GENETICALLY ENGINEERED PRODUCTS
>MUST BE LABELED AND TESTED FOR SAFETY!

>The Food and Drug Administration is now accepting public
comment on its proposed new rules on genetically engineered(GE) foods. Despite overwhelming consumer demand, the FDA
has failed to require health and ecological safety testing
or mandatory labeling, and thus puts your health and our
environment at risk and deprives you of the right to know
or choose what you are eating.

>The proposed rules:

>* Do not require mandatory pre-market safety testing
>* Do not require pre-market environmental review
>* Do not require mandatory labeling of GE foods
>* Restrict voluntary labeling of non-GE foods
>* Require a mere letter of notification prior to the
marketing of a GE food
>* Fail to ensure public access to adequate information
for independent review
>* Are supported by industry and opposed by consumer groups

>The FDA needs to hear from hundreds of thousands of Americans that:

>* The FDA must require mandatory pre-market comprehensive
environmental review. Unlike conventional pollutants,
where a given amount of pollutant causes a limited amount of damage, a small number of mutant genes could have a population explosion and reproduce forever, causing unlimited and irreparable damage.

>* The FDA must require mandatory pre-market long-term health testing. GE products could be toxic, cause allergic
responses, have lower nutritional value, and compromise
immune responses in consumers.

>* The FDA must require mandatory labeling of GE products. Without mandatory labeling, neither consumers nor health professionals will know if an allergic or toxic reaction was the result of a genetically engineered food. Consumers would be deprived of the critical knowledge needed to hold food producers liable should any of these novel products be hazardous.

>* The FDA must end its cozy relationship with the industries it purports to be regulating. People have been allowed to work for a biotech company, then work for the FDA writing the regulatory rules on that company's product, then go back to working for the company. Ninety-two percent of FDA advisory committee meetings had at least one conflict of interest.

>PLEASE ACT TODAY. THE DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS TUESDAY, APRIL 3.
>
>Email your comments to: fdadockets@oc.fda.gov
> with "Docket 00N-1396 & Docket 00D-1598" in the Subject line

>Mail your comments to:
> Docket 00N-1396 & Docket 00D-1598
> Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305)
> Food and Drug Administration
> 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
> Rockville, MD 20852

>For more information: www.organicconsumers.org , 218-226-4164

Richmond Hill, GA(Zone 8b)

I'm so glad you posted this, Marsh. I'm in the process of writing my letter. Allergic responses (and the others, too, of course) should be a major concern to everyone. How many of you have children with allergies and you can't find the allergen responsible for the symptoms? Without knowing what's in the food you're eating, how can you EVER really know if it's possibly something in the food? At the moment, we are ALL eating GE food but we just don't know exactly the extent of our consumption because nothing is labeled. Labeling is the right thing and the honest thing to do, IMHO.

Terri

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Allergies - the bane of my existence. Stan is so allergic to CORN that we quit raising it 15 years ago. We haven't missed it at all, or the expense.

Why is there the assumption that food is safe just because a large corporation says it is? Perhaps that should have read "food," I am quite suspicious of some of it.

If I raise Papaver somniferom in my front yard, and someone sees it, notifies the local constabulary, I can find myself in deep doodoo if the judge so chooses. If a large corporation plays with the genetics of food staples and plants them all over the country, they are patted on the back. In zone 5, the poppies aren't going to survive long enough to make anything even resembling any kind of drug. In zone 5, you can raise any kind of gmo crop available and do it on large acerages, where it can cross pollinate with non-gmos, making them read as gmos in the next generation. At the end of the day, who has actually added more harm?

Guess I'll go write a letter.
Kathleen

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

Thanks. My letter has been delivered.

Richmond Hill, GA(Zone 8b)

Excellent! Mine too! :)

Terri

Lyndeborough, NH

Me too

(terse enough Marshall)

Santa Barbara, CA

I luv y'll! Right on, Byron. Brevity before comprehension.

Richmond Hill, GA(Zone 8b)

Anybody else want to join us in asking the FDA for the labeling of GE food? Wouldn't you like to know what you are REALLY eating?

Please read all of the concerns above and then let your conscience be your guide. Even if you're only concerned about labeling, please write the FDA and tell them so.

Terri

Santa Barbara, CA

Ohiorganic, see the table below from the Am.Chemical Society showing 5 Tomato varieties approved for sale in 1999.
****************
ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS
December 1,1999/ Volume33, Issue23/ p.485 A
Copyright 1999 American Chemical Society


TABLE 1
Genetically engineered foods and crops approved for sale in the United States


Food/Crop Number of GMO varieties Source of new genes
Canola 4 California bay, turnip rape, bacteria, virus
Corn (not blue corn) 13 bacteria, corn, virus
Cotton 5 bacteria, tobacco, virus
Dairy products from cows injected with genetically altered rBGH 1 cattle
Papaya 1 bacteria, virus
Potatoes (Russett, Burbank) 1 bacteria
Radicchio (red-hearted chicory) 1 bacteria
Squash (yellow crook-neck) 2 viruses
Soybeans 3 petunia, soybean, bacteria, virus

Tomatoes 5 bacteria, tomato, virus


Source: Adapted from Campaign for Food Safety (http://www.purfood.org/ge/usc98gefood.cfm) and Mothers for Natural Law (http://www.safe-food.org/).
***********************

See also the international OECD site, their link to Biotech Product Data Base, showing 7 varieties:

http://www.oecd.org/ehs/service.htm








This message was edited Wednesday, Mar 28th 7:23 PM

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

Page not found for the two sites on Food Safety! Any ideas?

Santa Barbara, CA

Louisa,
The Mothers site is ok except for extra characters, so try:

http://safe-food.org/

Ronnie Cummings' site was mirrored by a progmo group except for one letter so the URL has been changed to:

http://www.organicconsumers.org

Each site has a lot of links to information and other sites.

Marsh

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

Thanks Marsh -BTW - Why not post this on General Discussion to bring this issue to the attention of ALL DG members, just asking them to come look see. I don't know how many view this farm forum but the more people we can gather in here the better! Just an idea :-)

New Paris, OH

Marsh,

The cornell site I posted on the "GMO cont." thread stated that neither the GMO tomatoes or radicchio seed ever made it to market even though they were developed. Man, there is a lot of conflicting information about GMO's.

I sent my FDA letter out this morning. A polite but to the point letter.

Richmond Hill, GA(Zone 8b)

There sure is, ohiorganic. There's just no telling how much of it we're eating either. :(

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

69 views so far and only 13 posts!

Santa Barbara, CA

Louisa,

Good idea about cross posting. I posted TRADE SECRETS over in the General forum, got 68 hits since this morning but no comments. The PBS program, a joint Nova and Frontline program three months in the making, was shown Monday evening in shocking detail of industry culpability.

In the last 40 years we have created and released into the environment and our bodies as many as 30,000 new chemicals, many not related to natural materials so persisting for many years and often bioaccumulating. Fewer than 6 have been banned even with widespread but scattered information about continued dangers of many chemicals.

The companies failed to inform or to protect the employees and covered up potentially damaging research, according to records obtained during later court proceedings, and now on-line in the form of 10,000 documents!

Marsh

[ Removed per member request. - Admin]

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

I agree with you Patty about how overwhelming these potentially explosive subjects can be. I don't think it's a case of apathy with most people. I think a lot of folk bury their heads in the sand because they are generally frightened by the enormity of this subject. Maybe there is a way to try and simplify the rhetoric and perhaps we can gradually attract more attention. Marsh, I know, I know, it frightens me. I have lived 3/4 of my life but my grandchildren and my yet unborn grandchild have their lives ahead of them. I want them and the rest of the world to look forward in anticipation to a good healthy life, not one that is fraught with danger.

Santa Barbara, CA

Patty and Louisa -- hang in there gals! Six months ago I went to a talk on genetic engineering and fell asleep it was so tedious and boring (and us older guys tend to nod off anyways) . Then I signed up for a bunch of antiGMO sites and started asking

"Where are the facts?" A Few...

SO I signed up for a lot of proGMO sites, most very pretty and polished and soothing BUT

"Where are the facts?" Just as Few...

One thing I have learned: this is not a popularity contest or a contest to pick who is the loudest, or who produces the most propaganda. Facts are few and far between.

SO I started reading through scientific papers after a week or so of evenings learning the basics of the jargon and principles and practices. (Not that hard at the general level.) I have read about lots of super detailed research in genetics, toxicity, molecular biology, etc. But I kept coming back to

Where are the facts?"

as to GM foods, fibers and lots of microbial stuff. Most of the research has been done by or for the biotech industry and the results are mostly NOT published for peer review. The are trade secrets (sound familiar?).

SO, in my experience and readings and studyings I have personally concluded that GMOs have not been adequately tested for human safety, long-term especially. I also concluded that GMOs will have a sure but presently unknown impact on the environment.

SO, I encourage everyone to read and thinks about these issues at whatever level you feel comfortable. Ask lots of questions until you are satisfied.

Remember that there are ethical and moral issues about biotechnology and its applications in not only our society but also in less developed parts of the world. In those areas local plant and animal breeders are trying to meet the needs of indigenous agriculturists, not global agribusiness giants. Massive economic and social disruptions are expected to occur in Africa, South America and parts of Asia with the globalization of food production and expansion of GMOs owned by a few multinational corporations.

SO, I always try to remember that culture changes very slowly but technology changes at an accelerating rate. How can we predict, much less control the short and long term impacts of technological change? We can't, really.

SO, let us take 5 or 10 or even 15 years to sort out GMOs. There really is no hurry other than to meet the expectations of stock holders. Let us at least label GMOS so that we have a choice.

Marsh

Santa Barbara, CA

I just posted the following over in the General thread:

[Forwarded from GFA on behalf of NGIN http://members.tripod.com/~ngin ]


The following article by Professor Ann Clark on GM food safety research reaches an almost identical conclusion to my own independent six-month investigation of the data - namely that there are NO INDEPENDENT PUBLISHED RESULTS OF FEEDING TRIALS OF GM CROPS anywhere in the world. This is despite the fact that there are now dozens of GM foods that have been approved by various governments, despite the fact that there are now probably over 100,000 full time biotechnologist in the world and despite the fact that complaints about the absence of safety evidence have been made continually for over three years. Major publications such as Science, Nature and the Lancet have reached similar conclusions, as has the Royal Society of Canada, a committee of Irish GPs and the EU-US Biotechnology Consultative Forum. The fact - or the absence of facts, to be precise - is now indisputable. Government and industry spokespersons now defend GM foods only by declaring that "no-one has been harmed by them" but there is no monitoring going on to detect such harm. One can only conclude that there must be a strict and undeclared global moratorium on safety research to ensure that no proof of danger emerges - as Dr Pusztai and others have discovered to their cost.

Now is the time to write to MPs and Government Food Standards Agencies and Agriculture Ministries to demand an immediate Five Year Moratorium on GM food and crops to provide time for proper safety research - and to demand an end to what is obviously a global moratorium on such research.

ROBERT VINT, National Co-ordinator, GENETIC FOOD ALERT
coordinator@geneticfoodalert.org.uk www.geneticfoodalert.org.uk
Tel: 01803 868523
4, Bertram House, Ticklemore Street, TOTNES, Devon TQ9 5EJ UK

***********************************************

EXTRACT:
One common criticism in many such studies is the near absence of credible
scientific evidence upon which to assess environmental and food safety
risks. Last June, the prestigious journal Science reported a detailed
database search by Jose Domingo, who could find a grand total of just eight
refereed journal articles dealing with any aspect of the safety of GM
foods. The eight included only four actual feeding trials, of which three
were from Monsanto teams.

The final report of the elite, hand-picked EU-U.S. Biotechnology
Consultative Forum, which came out in December, 2000, stated, "There is a
lack of substantial scientific data and evidence, often (presented) more as
personal interpretations disguised as scientifically validated statements."
The full report is available at http://europa.eu.int


COMPLETE ARTICLE
***********************************************

"LUDDITES" GET SOME AMMUNITION
Prof. Ann Clark, Toronto Star [Canada] March 12, 2001 www.thestar.com

[Ann Clark is an associate professor of plant agriculture at the University
of Guelph].

Marsh

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Marsh, you've done so much research, you make me tired just thinking about it, but I appreciate every post you've put up. I think Louisa was right about the problem being not apathy, but just the overwhelming magnitude of what's been done and done without the results being made available to anyone. There are no facts readily available, and no one in a position of "responciblity" seems to be rushing out to find them. I am dismayed that the media spends so much time presenting the lunatic fringe (and I do realize that there are good people in that fringe - I grew up in the 60s, probably have my name on an old dusty list at the FBI for sins imagined), which puts the GP off - "oh, if they are the ones making noise about this, it can't really be a problem!" - like global warming and a whole host of very real problems being ignored because it isn't the "right" sort of people who are being concerned about it.

Well, here we are, the very best sort of people. May we all do the best and right thing.

Kathleen

Santa Barbara, CA

Thanks for your comments, Kathleen.

I just don't believe in being led around like turkeys if I really believe in the principles of freedom and democracy and my responsibilities to my own and future family. Spending a few hours a week to keep informed is a small price to pay, especially if you have obsessive nuts like me to help ferret out FACTS.

I agree that there is a fringe out there looking for causes and for funds to keep looking for causes. And there is a countering fringe, supported by the various "gored cows", trying to neutralize the bad publicity and perhaps coverup embarrassing or even legally actionable facts. I am in the middle somewhere depending on the issue. GMOs put me well toward the protesting side. But I am not a member of Greenpeace and rarely cite their materials unless based on good sources supported by independent material.

Keep the faith.

Marshall

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

Marsh, thankyou for your steadfast and dogged determination to keep this matter on the boil. I am relieved that there are people like you with a conscience who try to shoulder responsibility and hopefully bring about a change, however small or large. Every effort is a course in the right direction and anything is better than nothing! I seem to have been fighting on and off just about all of my life for one cause or another but not on this scale and now, alas, I seem to have run out of energy, and so it is with a grateful heart that I thank God for people like you.

Santa Barbara, CA

Louisa,

I thank God that I got a second wind, having been very active in my salad days, more quiet during the middle years, and raring to go when I should be crawling into the old rocking chair. Mental stimulation keeps us alive as human beings. True at any age. Good luck and keep the faith.

Marsh

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Hey marsh - Can you LEAD a turkey around????

Kathleen

Santa Barbara, CA

Kathleen,

When I was a kid we always had a few geese, chickens and turkeys around. Turkeys have to be lured to be led, ladies! Pretty dumb birds.

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