San Francisco Passes Anti-GE Food Resolution

San Francisco City Government Passes Genetically Engineered Foods Resolution,
Calls on Food Companies to Stop Use of Genetically Engineered Foods

News Release

For Immediate Release
Monday, December 18, 2000

Simon Harris, OCA, 510-525-7054
Jeanne Merrill, Greenpeace, 415-512- 9023
Rebecca Spector, Center for Food Safety, 415-229-9336

San Francisco Board Passes Genetically Engineered Foods Resolution,
Calls on Food Companies to Stop Use of Genetically Engineered Foods

San Francisco - The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a
resolution calling for environmental and health protections from genetically
engineered (GE) foods. Supervisor Gavin Newsom introduced the resolution.

The resolution comes after a massive food recall of corn products containing
StarLink, a genetically engineered corn only allowed for animal feed, when
it was found in a range of food products. An advisory panel to the
Environmental Protection Agency recently ruled that StarLink corn has the
potential to cause food allergies. In passing the resolution, San Francisco
joined with a growing number of municipalities from across the country in
demanding protection from this dangerous new food technology.

"Because our federal agencies that are regulating genetically engineered
foods have failed the American public, it is critical that cities across the
country take a strong stance on this issue and demand adequate health and
environmental standards for these novel foods," said Rebecca Spector of the
Center for Food Safety. "San Francisco has taken this stance today, and has
said enough, is enough."

The resolution calls on FDA to label genetically engineered foods and
institute a moratorium on GE foods. The resolution also calls on food
companies, like Kellogg's and Campbell's, which have stopped using GE
ingredients in their products in Europe, to do the same in the United

"Kellogg's and many food companies have stopped using genetically engineered
ingredients in Europe, but continue to use these experimental foods in the
U.S.," said Jeanne Merrill of Greenpeace. "Today San Francisco told
Kellogg's and others to end their double-standard."

Genetic engineering of crops fundamentally alters nature by crossing natural
species barriers, and inserting virus, bacteria and even insect genes into
plants-something traditional breeders can never do. Once these man-made
organisms are released into the environment and the food chain they can
never be recalled. Currently, approximately 69 million acres of GE crops are
grown in the United States- primarily corn, soy, canola and cotton. Over
60% of processed foods on our grocery shelves now contain GE ingredients.

"Genetically engineered ingredients are in everything from our cereals to
our chocolates without even a label to tell us we are eating experimental
foods," said Simon Harris of the Organic Consumers Association. "That's
why we need local government to stand up and demand consumer protection."

Among those who support the resolution is head chef of Millennium
restaurant, Eric Tucker. "Without labeling in this country, the burden of
finding non-GE foods falls on responsible chefs and food providers," said
Tucker. "The responsibility should be with the government and the biotech
industry to provide this information."

Genetic engineering of plant life creates for the first time living
pollution, bringing known and unknown risks to the environment and public
health. Herbicide resistant crops can create superweeds and increase
herbicide use. GE foods may also create new food allergies and increased
levels of toxins in food. Medical experts warn that some antibiotics could
become useless from the use of antibiotic resistance genes in creating GE
crops. Furthermore, genetically engineered corn and soy with the Bacillus
thurigienisis (Bt) toxin threatens insect resistance to Bt, a fundamental
tool for organic farmers.

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