Consumer Warning

Chemical and genetic food contamination are on the rise. As many of us now realize, something stinks. And it's not just leftover junk food, toxic fish, or bacteria-contaminated animal products from factory feedlots, giant poultry and hog farms, and slaughterhouses. It's not just the scent of pesticide residues on baby foods, fruits, vegetables, and grains. It's not just the pus, antibiotics, and growth hormones souring the public attitude toward genetically engineered rBGH milk and dairy products and other largely untested, unlabeled "Frankenfoods" and crops.

It's more than just this. It's in the tap water, the topsoil, the air. In the alarming statistics on increasing cancer, food poisoning, obesity, heart disease, chemical hypersensitivity, antibiotic resistance, allergies, infertility, birth defects, and immune disorders. But now perhaps the most putrid smell of all is wafting out of the halls and backrooms of Congress where the food and chemical giants have struck a bipartisan deal with politicians to weaken our already inadequate food safety and food labeling laws.

Public Alarm Justified

No wonder recent polls show that 80% of all consumers are concerned about food safety. Since 1993 E-coli, salmonella, and other forms of food poisoning have increased. Studies reveal that the majority of feedlot cattle are regularly being dosed with antibiotics in their food, despite an emerging antibiotic resistance crisis in both children and adults. Pesticide residue levels in our food supply remain high -- especially since our borders and agricultural inspection stations were thrown open in the wake of NAFTA -- with the National Academy of Sciences warning in 1994 that children may be ingesting dangerous levels of carcinogens - - even under current EPA "allowable limits." Warnings about allergens in gene-spliced foods have been ignored.

As independent scientists point out there are still no reliable safeguards protecting consumers from the "toxic soup syndrome", from the effects of ingesting "legal amounts" of multiple toxic residues simultaneously, nor on protecting consumers from ingesting dioxin (spewed out of municipal incinerators burning PVC plastics) -- known to concentrate in fish, meat, and dairy products -- said to be "the most dangerous substance over produced by man". And finally, the government has begun licensing an expanding, bizarre menu of genetically engineered "Frankenfoods" and crops; in most cases inadequately safety tested, disregarding potential environmental and "genetic pollution", and not requiring any special labeling whatsoever.

Attack on Consumers Rights

Rather than giving us what we want; affordable, healthy, natural, clean food, sustainable and humanely produced by family farms, safety-tested and clearly labeled to enable consumers to exercise free choice, we are being denied our right to know what is being done to our food. Instead we are force-fed another message: Let them eat hi-fat junk food, hormones, feces, chemicals, dioxin, gene-spliced-viruses, vegetables bioengineered to secrete their own pesticides, "Frankencrops" that can absorb even more toxic herbicides, and antibiotics.

Government and corporate hacks use so-called "risk assessment" and "cost accounting" to tell us it's "too expensive" for Corporate America to clean-up factory-style food industry practices, even as the Centers for Disease Control admit that up to 80 million cases of food poisoning every year constitute business as usual. The EPA admits that our drinking water is routinely poisoned by industrial and factory farm pollution. And published data indicates an alarming rise in environmental and food-related cancer and chronic illness. If the old saying is true that "we are what we eat", then we're fast becoming "unwilling subjects" in a Brave New World of chemical and genetic experimentation. But isn't there something we can do?


Organic Consumers Association (OCA)
6101 Cliff Estate Rd., Little Marais, Minnesota 55614
Activist or Media Inquiries: (218) 226-4164,  Fax: (218) 226-4157
Ronnie Cummins E-mail: alliance@mr.net    http://www.purefood.org

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