Titel: EPA says little unapproved corn left in food supply
Datum: 17 juli 2001
Bron: The Associated Press
Via: Biotech Activists (biotech_activists@iatp.org)
Posted: 07/17/2001 By blilliston@iatp.org

The Associated Press, July 17, 2001

EPA says little unapproved corn left in food supply


The chances of consumers eating an unapproved variety of biotech corn are
substantially less than the government thought last fall after the grain
was discovered in food products, the Environmental Protection Agency says.

In a report to a panel of scientific advisers who meet Tuesday and
Wednesday, EPA said testing by corn processors and seed companies have
helped to dramatically reduce the amount of StarLink corn that could be in

Discovery of the corn in taco shells last fall led to nationwide recalls of
corn products. More recalls may be necessary unless the EPA agrees to allow
a minimal amounts of the corn in food, the corn's developer, Aventis
CropScience, has said.

EPA's scientific advisers are deciding whether the agency should grant a
request by Aventis to set a maximum level for the biotech grain of 20 parts
per billion. That's the equivalent of one StarLink kernel in every 800
kernels of corn.

In its report, EPA says the actual levels of StarLink in U.S. corn supplies
range from 0.34 to 8 parts per billion, depending on the method used to
make the estimate. EPA says the corn "will essentially be gone" from grain
supplies in two to three years.

StarLink corn was never approved for human consumption because of questions
about whether it was an allergen.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleared StarLink
as the cause of allergic reactions in 17 people who thought they may have
been sickened by the corn.

A special protein in the corn, called Cry9C, breaks down slowly in the
digestive system, an indication that it might induce allergic reactions.
However, scientists say people would have to be exposed to the protein
repeatedly to become sensitive to it.

StarLink, which has been removed from the market, is one of several
varieties of corn that have been genetically engineered to produce their
own pesticides. StarLink corn was supposed to have been grown and handled
separately from other grain, but farmers often failed to do so.