Thursday, December 4, 2008

In the News: genetically engineered cotton "oops"

The FDA has announced that a small portion of an experimental genetically engineered cotton was harvested along with an approved GE cotton variety. They emphasize that there is no food or feed safety concern from the incident. From the news release:

Based on additional data provided by Monsanto on the protein produced
in the GE cotton--a variant of Cry 1A 105 that acts as a pesticide
against cotton insect pests--EPA has concluded that there would be no
risk to animals consuming small amounts of feed from the unauthorized
cotton, nor to humans from consuming meat or milk from these animals.
While EPA has concluded that consuming small amounts of the cottonseed
poses no food or animal feed safety risks, under that Agency’s LLP
policy, the presence of this material in food or feed would be illegal.

 I am merely reporting it as an example of the the reasons why ethical fashion mavens would like to see more organic cotton and less GE cotton. Note their use of "small amounts" to temper their reassurances. So larger amounts wouold be a problem? Keep this in mind when Cotton, Inc. tells you that today's cotton is grown using fewer pesticides; this is how the magic is done.

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