Japan’s Health and Welfare Ministry said Wednesday, Dec. 27 that it had confirmed that U.S.-grown genetically modified corn banned for consumption in Japan and elsewhere had been mixed with corn used for brewing beer and making processed foods. Of a batch of about 38,000 tons of corn imported from the United States, about 28,000 might have been blended with the StarLink variety, according to the ministry.
Such incidents are expected to place continued pressure on American food exports in general, and corn in particular. There is presently no effective way to prevent StarLink corn from entering the food chain almost at random, due to the lack of any effective methods of tracking the product.
In November, the FDA released a list of 300 different foods believed to contain the product, which is not approved because of the fact that it may cause allergic reactions in humans. The risks are believed to be remote, but the FDA at present has no plans to approve any gene-altered crops that are not previously cleared for human consumption.
In fact, genetically altered foods will enter the food chain readily, despite assurances from the industry that this will not happen. The consequences of this to the future of seed stock is unknown.
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