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Aventis annouces that U.S. corn supply contains more StarLink than previously thought

(March 19,2001 --Cropchoice news) -- Aventis CropScience announced that more than 430 million bushels -- 4 percent -- of the U.S. corn supply contain some of its transgenic StarLink variety.

The U.S. government approved StarLink corn only for livestock feed, based on scientists' concerns that its slow-to-digest Cry9C protein might be allergenic in humans. Nonetheless, StarLink contaminated the human food supply last year, resulting in a recall of more than 300 food products. This led Japan and South Korea, who hadn't approved the variety for any use, to cut their U.S. corn imports.

Contamination stems from such factors as planting and harvesting equipment that contain StarLink remnants, cross-pollination and commingling during distribution.

Meanwhile, scientists advising the government on transgenic corn called for more research to determine their impact on the environment and human health.

The Environmental Protection Agency will decide by September whether to renew registrations for transgenic corn and cotton varieties.

Source: Reuters, The Washington Post