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Genetically Altered Animals and Foods—AAHF Looks at the Issues

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On February 6, the FDA made history by approving the first drug made with materials from genetically engineered (GE) goats. Last month the Agency issued guidelines covering how it will regulate products from genetically altered animals, despite controversy about this technology. The bottom line is that this stamp of approval comes with little knowledge of long-term side effects for either the patients who will be injected with this new drug or for the environment, particularly if some GE animals escape and mate with animals in nature. One of the most distressing issues is that the FDA will not require all genetically engineered foods to be so labeled. This is a blow to consumer freedom of choice.
Our UK based affiliate, the Alliance for Natural Health, has launched a campaign regarding genetically modified food crops: “Say NO to GMO!” They recommend the following guidelines:
• Make sure you know what you’re eating and buying.
• Make sure (as far as possible) that you are not knowingly consuming genetically modified food directly, or indirectly in meat produced from animals fed genetically modified soy or corn.
Currently, buying food that is certified as organic is one of the simplest ways of minimizing your intake—but even this doesn’t necessarily eliminate your exposure altogether.
The February 9 issue of New Scientist revealed that conventional crop breeding can be as potentially harmful as genetically modified strains. BASF has developed a new variety of oilseed rap (used in canola oil) which is resistant to weed killers. There is fear this new variety could be as damaging to farmland wildlife as some GM crops. The FDA policy not to label foods from GM crops and drugs from GE animals is of deep concern to those who value their health freedom of choice.

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