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Organic Consumers Association

Obama's Genetically Modified Food Bill is Bad for America's Health

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

WASHINGTON, DC - President Barack Obama signed a spending bill, HR 933, into law, the "Monsanto Protection Act," that strips federal courts of the authority to immediately halt the planting and sale of genetically modified (GMO) seed crop regardless of any consumer health concerns.

"The provision would strip federal courts of the authority to halt the sale and planting of an illegal, potentially hazardous GE crop while the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) assesses those potential hazards," explains a letter to the House that has been signed by dozens of food businesses and retailers, as well as interest groups and agencies representing family farmers. "Further, it would compel USDA to allow continued planting of that same crop upon request, even if in the course of its assessment the Department finds that it poses previously unrecognized risks."

Why does Monsanto and other GMO companies need this protection? The corolary question is has there ever been a safe, healthy, non-complicated genetically modified organism?

Genetical engineering is the process of putting genetic material from one species into another in a form that does not exist in nature. In every case of genetic engineered organsims, the product has been less naturally healthy overall than the original host organsims. There may be a single trait that is superior, but the overall health of the organism is less than found in nature. From animals like the sheep Dolly, to the Flavr Savr tomato, to the products you are eating today and don't even know it, there are inherent problems consuming altered DNA.

In 1994, Dr Joseph Cummins, Emeritus Professor of Genetics at the University of West-Ontario warned that the inclusion in Flavr Savr tomatoes of a genetic sequence from the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus could create virulent new viruses. In October 1991, Dr Edwin Mathews from the Department of Health and Human Services and of the FDA's Toxicology Group wrote to the FDA Biotechnology Working Group saying: "Genetically modified plants could also contain unexpected high concentrations of plant toxicants".

Modified proteins, new proteins never before eaten by humanity, exist in GE foods. In 1992, Dr. Louis J. Pribyl of the FDA's Microbiology Group warned  that there is "a profound difference between the types of expected effects from traditional breeding and genetic engineering."


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