The USDA is gambling with your health and the environment!
The fact is, it may not be long before someone actually discovers pharmaceutical drugs in their cereal.
YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
we should be concerned about the presence of a potentially toxic substance in food plants.
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Shrouded in secrecy, biotech companies are genetically engineering crops to produce pharmaceutical drugs in numerous undisclosed test plots around the country.
And yet, the possible health and environmental risks of these pharm crops remain very poorly understood.
Even so, pharm crops soon may be approved for commercial use and grown on a widespread basis.
So far, there have been no peer reviewed scientific studies published on the safety of pharm crops. No one can say for sure what will happen if pharm crops intermingle with our food supply.
Among the many potential environmental hazards, nobody knows what impact pharm crops will have on birds and animals that consume them in open fields.
USDA has received 16 new applications for biopharming permits in the past 12 months.
Where's the government oversight?
The USDA has earned a reputation for being quite lax in its oversight of genetically engineered crops. But what the agency is proposing for pharm crops is unbelievable.
The USDA has issued proposed rules that would allow corn engineered to contain pharmaceutical drugs to be grown as little as one mile away from regular corn grown for human consumption.
Even grocery industry trade organizations have told the USDA and the biotech industry that they do not want pharmaceutical drugs to be grown in ANY food crops.
What people are saying about pharm crops
Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist with Center for Food Safety in DC
It's very hard to contain plant viruses. The tobacco mosaic virus can be very stable, and it can also infect food crops like the tomato. We've seen no public risk assessment of any kind about what the potential hazards are.
Stephanie Childs, a Grocery Manufacturers of America spokeswoman
We need a comprehensive regulatory system that ensures everyone knows who is responsible for what when the products are being developed. Right now we have a piecemeal system.
Paul Achitoff, managing attorney, Earthjustice, Hawaii
Even food-processing corporations are very upset about this as well, because they know all you need is one shipment of corn flakes that has a contraceptive in it and there's a real problem, obviously.
Craig Culp, spokesman for the Center for Food Safety in DC
The fact that they're purposely growing pharmaceutical drugs in food crops seems indefensible and foolhardy in the extreme.
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the biotechnology industry has been planting fields of genetically engineered
Quietly, the biotechnology industry has been planting fields of genetically engineered corn, rice, barley, and other crops throughout the US, but not for human consumption. Instead, these crop plants have been engineered to make novel compounds for medical and industrial purposes – pharmaceuticals, industrial enzymes, reagents for biochemical laboratories. About 20 companies worldwide are developing plants for the production of pharmaceutical or industrial proteins. Many of these crops are grown in open fields, and since companies in the U.S. are not required to disclose the information about these field tests, the location of the trials are generally closely held secrets.