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environmental kitchenarchive food allergies
Food Allergies

In 1996 a major GE food disaster was narrowly averted when Nebraska researchers learned that a Brazil nut gene spliced into soybeans could induce potentially fatal allergies in people sensitive to Brazil nuts. Animal tests of these Brazil nut-spliced soybeans had turned up negative. People with food allergies (which currently afflicts 8% of all American children), whose symptoms can range from mild unpleasantness to sudden death, may likely be harmed by exposure to foreign proteins spliced into common food products. Since humans have never before eaten most of the foreign proteins now being gene-spliced into foods, stringent pre-market safety-testing (including long-term animal feeding and volunteer human feeding studies) is necessary in order to prevent a future public health disaster. Mandatory labeling is also necessary so that those suffering from food allergies can avoid hazardous GE foods and so that public health officials can trace allergens back to their source when GE-induced food allergies break out.

Unfortunately the FDA and other global regulatory agencies do not routinely require pre-market animal and human studies to ascertain whether new allergens or toxins, or increased levels of human allergens or toxins we already know about, are present in genetically engineered foods. As British scientist Dr. Mae-Wan Ho points out "There is no known way to predict the allergenic potential of GE foods. Allergic reactions typically occur only some time after the subject is sensitized by initial exposure to the allergen."

Information provided with the help of Ronnie Cummins Organic Consumers Association

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