Genetically Engineered grains have been in existence for several years, amidst many concerns from various organizations and individuals. Now, the FDA is set to approve Genetically Engineered Animals to be introduced into the food chain.
Ever since the beginning of Genetically Engineered grains, controversy has surrounded their safety. The Sierra Club initiated a national petition against Monsanto’s genetically engineered wheat. The Organic Consumers organization is equally against genetically engineered grains stating “Campaign activists are also demanding that corporations and governments heed the concerns of consumers, North and South, and remove genetically engineered corn and other foods and crops from the market, unless they can be proven to be safe for human health and the environment. Recently hundreds of US consumers have reported allergic reactions to the FDA after eating Kraft and other brand name products likely containing genetically engineered corn.”
The Organic Consumers website also brings into light a potential cover-up by Monsanto not noticed by the FDA. A German court ordered Monsanto to make public a controversial 90 day study on rats that reported the animals fed genetically modified (GM) corn developed “allergies (increased basophils), in response to infections, toxins and various diseases including cancer (increased lymphocytes and white blood cells), and in the presence of anemia (decreased reticulocyte count) and blood pressure problems (decreased kidney weights). There were also increased blood sugar levels, kidney inflammation, liver and kidney lesions, and other changes.”
Now, the FDA is set to approve genetically engineered animals into the human food chain. From the FDA website: “Genetic engineering generally refers to the use of recombinant DNA (rDNA) techniques to introduce new characteristics or traits into an organism. When scientists splice together pieces of DNA and introduce a spliced DNA segment into an organism to give the organism new properties, it’s called rDNA technology. The spliced piece of DNA is called the rDNA construct. A GE animal is one that contains an rDNA construct intended to give the animal new characteristics or traits.”
The FDA plans to classify GE animals as a ‘drug’ until food products from these animals are recognized as safe. Currently the FDA website is accepting input from organizations and individuals on GE animals. To learn more and post your comments click here.
The FDA tells consumers: “GE animals currently being developed can be divided into six broad classes based on the intended purpose of the genetic modification: (1) to enhance food quality or agronomic traits (e.g., pigs with less environmentally deleterious wastes, faster growing fish); (2) to improve animal health (e.g., disease resistance); (3) to produce products intended for human therapeutic use (e.g., pharmaceutical products or tissues for transplantation; these GE animals are sometimes referred to as “biopharm” animals); (4) to enrich or enhance the animals’ interactions with humans (e.g., hypo-allergenic pets); (5) to develop animal models for human diseases (e.g., pigs as models for cardiovascular diseases); and (6) to produce industrial or consumer products (e.g., fibers for multiple uses).”
The same FDA document acknowledges the risks involved with GE animals. “A primary goal during the investigational phase of development of the GE animal is to ensure that edible products from the GE animals do not enter the food or feed supply without prior FDA authorization. Edible products include, but are not limited to milk, honey, eggs, muscle tissue, as well as other tissues such as liver, kidney, skin, and fat. We encourage you to provide a disposition plan for all classes of investigational animals and animal products. We recommend that all surplus investigational animals and their biological products be disposed of by incineration, burial, or composting, and that appropriate records be kept of animal identification and disposition. In some special cases, alternative disposition may be appropriate provided that our safety concerns are met (see Section III.C). 21 CFR 511.1 (b)(5).”
GE animals have probably already entered the food supply; the pet food supply. Please notice the wording of the following sentence quoted above ‘We recommend that all surplus investigational animals and their biological products be disposed of by incineration, burial, or composting, and that appropriate records be kept of animal identification and disposition.’ The words ‘We recommend’ should make pet owners very concerned. Since currently, despite Federal law that opposes this, the FDA allows 4-D animals (dead, dying, diseased, and disabled) and euthanized animals including expired laboratory test animals to be processed into pet food. There is little doubt GE test animals, including GE test animals ‘gone bad’, are as well processed into pet food. Pet owners can only guess at how long and how many GE animals have already been rendered becoming pet food ingredients.
Pet food should not be the dumping ground for waste materials of science or the processing of human food. Equally as disturbing is the FDA’s blind eye to Federal regulations prohibiting this. Millions of pet owners unknowingly purchase dog food, cat food, or pet treats every single day that could contain a genetically engineered animal experiment gone bad, genetically modified grains, dead, diseased, dying or disabled animals, and animals that have completed their research use, including the test drugs within the animals; all labeled as ‘premium’, ‘choice’, or ‘healthy’ pet foods.
Please consider contacting your Representatives in Congress asking them to insist the FDA abide by Federal law and properly monitor the ingredients in pet food. Visit Truth About Pet Food to read more about letters to Congress for safe pet food. Call the manufacturer of every pet food and treat that your pet consumers and ask if the meat ingredients are human grade/quality. Anything less than human grade meats could be from animal sources you would never consider feeding your pet.
When final approval of GE animals is set (it is sure to be approved just as GM grains were), no consumer will know if they are purchasing or consuming a GE burger, chicken wings, or steak. Just as right now consumers have no idea if a food or food ingredient is from a GM grain. At the very least, every U.S. consumer deserves to know if their food, or their pet’s food, is a science experiment. Please visit the FDA website and post your comments to GE animals.
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