March 14, 2001

Kellogg's forced to recall product after finding of StarLink contamination is verified

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Interviews available with Charles Margulis, Greenpeace Genetic Engineering Specialist, and the person responsible for commissioning the tests of Kellogg's

Morningstar Corn Dogs * * *

WASHINGTON - A nationwide recall of Morningstar Farms meat-free Corn Dogs was announced yesterday by Kellogg's, after the company acknowledged that the products contained StarLink corn, a variety of gene-altered corn that is not approved for human consumption. Last week, Greenpeace revealed that an independent laboratory found the StarLink contamination, but Kellogg's refused to follow other food companies who immediately pulled products that tested positive for the illegal corn, instead waiting nearly a week before issuing the recall.

"Kellogg's slow response to this corn crisis is a warning to consumers who don't want genetic experiments in their food - be wary of all Kellogg's corn products," said Charles Margulis, a Greenpeace Genetic Engineering Specialist. "Kellogg's admits that it uses genetically engineered ingredients, but it refuses to label these risky foods."

In laboratory analyses commissioned by Greenpeace, Kellogg's Morningstar Farms brand meat-free corn dog tested positive for StarLink. The corn dog and two other products tested positive for genetically altered soy. A series of letters and e-mails from Kellogg's to consumers claims that Morningstar Farms brand foods are made without gene-altered soy. Concerned that Kellogg's was stalling on removing the tainted corn dogs, Greenpeace sent more samples for independent testing, and a second lab confirmed the presence of StarLink in Kellogg's corn.

"Kellogg's now has an obligation to test every corn product it makes to determine just how far this StarLink contamination has gone," added Margulis. "For six months Kellogg's has been assuring consumers that its Morningstar products don't contain genetically modifed soy, yet we found gene altered soy and illegal GE corn in these Kellogg's foods. What does this mean for all its other products?"

Last October, Kellogg's was forced to stop production at a Memphis plant due to concerns about StarLink contamination, but the company claimed that no food products were affected. Kellogg's refused to respond to a Greenpeace survey asking about StarLink or other genetically engineered ingredients in its products.

"Americans are shopping in the dark when they buy Morningstar Farms products," said Margulis. "These genetically tainted foods are not labeled, and Kellogg's can't be trusted. We urge consumers to stop buying Morningstar Farms products until Kellogg's promises to stop using all gene altered ingredients in all of its U.S. products."


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