E-mail this article to
yourself or a friend.
Enter address:


The FDA perpetuates the biotech bill of goods

(January 17, 2001—Cropchoice opinion) -- Today the Food and Drug Administration proposed that companies notify it before they introduce any new biotech foods. The notification part sounds good, but nowhere in the proposal does the federal agency call for independent, peer-reviewed testing and mandatory labeling. The action stinks, and consumers, especially those in Europe and Asia, will respond by refusing to buy the foods. In the end, farmers (and processors) take the hit. The biotech companies laugh all the way to the bank. After all, they will have collected their profit from selling the seeds and the pesticides to the farmers.

Were this proposal to receive approval, the biotech industry would have an easy time complying. It would say to the FDA: “By the way, here’s the new genetically altered food we’re bringing to market in 120 days. It’s safe. Our scientists said so. And, no, we don’t want to label it.”

Biotech companies and their supporters in our government know that many consumers, especially those in Asia and Europe, do not want genetically engineered food. One only need look at the StarLink fiasco to see the opposition to genetically engineered foods. The governments of European countries, Japan, Australia and New Zealand acted upon citizens’ wishes by requiring the labeling of such foods. Armed with this information and their power to choose, consumers have shunned gene-altered food in favor of conventional or organic varieties.

Farmers also have a choice. They can end up holding the biotech bill of goods or they can gain full access to domestic and foreign markets by planting non-genetically engineered crops.