Organic Consumers Association

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How About Some Genetically Engineered Fish Proteins in Your Breyer's Ice Cream?

Unilever, the British-Dutch global consumer marketing products giant, is the largest producer of ice cream and frozen novelties in the U.S. Unilever's brands sold in the U.S. include Breyer's ice cream, Ben&Jerry's ice cream, Klondike ice cream bars and Popsicle products.

Specifically, Breyer's Light Double-Churned, Extra Creamy Creamy Chocolate ice cream, as well as a Good Humor ice cream novelty bar, contain the genetically-modified fish "antifreeze"proteins.

Unilever's scientists have patented, and the company is using ice cream products sold in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, "antifreeze" protein substances from the blood of the ocean pout (a polar ocean species). That substance is produced through genetically modified (GM) yeast, in large vat batches. Unilever's ice cream products that contain "ice structuring protein" (ISP) contain the material at the level of .01% of finished product volume.

Human "Safety" testing ?

Like many other GM materials in our foods, The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) looks like it has asleep at the switch. Long story short on the human "safety" protocols submitted by Unilever to FDA: human allergy resting was conducted on codfish blood proteins, not on blood proteins on blood proteins from the ocean pout.

Codfish and the ocean pout do not even belong to the same sub-class, in the "Order of Species."

In Great Britain, Unilever is seeking approval from the government food safety agency for approval to use GM-Derrived fish "antifreeze" proteins in ice cream products. Food safety watch-dog in Great Britain are in an uproar over such proposals.

Unilever touts the benefits of the fish "anti-freeze" protein as "crystallization" when ice cream products warm (above proper temperatures) and then are refrozen. In truth: the fish "ant-freeze" proteins look like one more trick in the corporate bag of tricks to produce cheaper products . . . without regard to serious safety human safety consideration.

PARIS REIDHEAD is an organic food activist who lives in Hartwick, New York, For more detailed information on the "anti-freeze" see the December, 2006 "The Milkweed: Dairy's best marketing info and insights" published by Pete Hardin in Brooklyn, Wisconsin, P.O. Box 10, Brooklyn, Wisconsin 53521-0010

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