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GE Foods Can Cause Allergic Reactions

http://allergies.about.com/library/weekly/aa103000a.htm
Genetically Modified Foods: A Concern for the Allergic

Do They Cause Allergic Reactions?

Genetically modified (GM) foods should be a concern for those who suffer
from food allergies because they are not tested, regulated, or required to
be labeled.

What Are GM Foods?

When gene technology is used to alter the genetic make up of any food crop,
food ingredient or animal product it is considered to be genetically
modified. Foreign proteins are spliced into common foods products making
them genetically modified.

Other names used in describing these products include: Genetically
Engineered (GE) and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

Soy beans, corn, canola (rapeseed) and cotton are the most widely grown GMO
crops. Almost all of these crops are either "insect resistant" or "herbicide
tolerant". The list also includes: peppers, peanuts, potatoes, sugar beets,
sunflowers, and tomatoes.

Why Should We Be Concerned?

There is concern that GM foods pose an allergy risk. Currently the list of
GM food products intersect with the eight most common food allergens: eggs,
milk, fish, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat.

Proteins in food are what trigger most allergic reactions in people. Most of
the foreign proteins being gene-spliced into foods have never been eaten by
humans before or tested for their safety.

There also is no mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods. Those who
suffer from food allergies have no way of knowing if the food they purchase
contains GM foods.

StarLink Found in Human Food Supply

A genetically engineered corn, Starlink, contains a special protein that
takes longer than normal to break down in the digestive system. For this
reason, it has NOT been approved for human consumption. However, it was
discovered in the human food chain in the year 2000.

Scientists believe a protein's ability to withstand heat and gastric juices
may cause an allergic reaction. Some allergy producing foods, such as
peanuts, have this same characteristic.

BMJ.com quoted Representative Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat, who has
sponsored bills requiring labeling and safety testing of all genetically
engineered food, as saying, "It concerns me, and should concern American
consumers, that this is a glimpse of things to come as genetically
engineered products are rushed to store shelves without real mandatory
safety testing and labeling programs in place."

What Visitors Have to Say

GM foods have been a topic on the Allergies Forum. Here is a sampling of
what is being discussed:

DONNIEJ: "These GM foods have been dumped on the market, untested,
unregulated, and unlabeled. I feel that I've been used as a lab rat! Now
that I've eliminated almost all traces of GM foods, I feel better then I had
in several years. I still encounter allergens, once in awhile, but I'm not
reacting constantly, like I was before."

JRANDERSON30: "My name is John Anderson. I am an activist for the Organic
Consumers Association (OCA) and Greenpeace against GE foods. Our groups are
totally against GE foods as well as GE anything (i.e. trees, cotton, fish,
etc.). The "safeness" of GE foods as per the U.S. Regulatory Agencies are
not accurate and not to be trusted."

What are your feelings about GM foods? To read the entire discussion or
share your thoughts visit the Allergies Forum.

http://forums.about.com/ab-allergies/messages?lgnF=y&msg=321.1

For additional information on GM Foods, please refer to the collected
Internet links.

http://allergies.about.com/cs/gmfoods/index.htm


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