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Nicaraguans Complain
About GE-Tainted Food Aid

United Press International
June 5, 2002,
Activists say Nicaragua used as U.S. guinea pig

Activists from Nicaragua were in the United States Tuesday to complain about
food products containing genetically modified organisms.
Officials with the Alliance for a Nicaragua Free of Genetically Modified
Organisms were in Washington this week to complain about the food items
shipped to their country by the World Food Program and the U.S. Agency for
International Development.

Those items included food products that were made from crops grown from
genetically modified seed.

"It is unacceptable that the children of Nicaragua are consuming genetically
modified products that come masked as food aid for our country," said Victor
Campos, a Nicaragua environmental activist. Campos and his colleagues were
in Washington through a visit coordinated by the Friends of the Earth
environmental activist group, which is among those saying genetically
modified foods have not been tested adequately to determine if they are safe
for human consumption.

Many European countries forbid importation of any foods produced from
genetically modified crops.

Supporters of genetically modified foods say such scientific technology
allows for the development of better tasting, more nutritious foods.
Campos was skeptical.

"It is well-known that baby food companies in Europe do not use genetically
modified products," he said. "Nevertheless, our highly vulnerable condition
has been used as an opportunity to send products that children in developed
countries do not consume."

Nicaraguan alliance officials said they fear expanded use of genetically
modified foods because it potentially could contaminate native crops.
Campos cited instances in Mexico where species of corn native only to
certain regions of Mexico have shown traces of genetically modified types.


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