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Washington D.C. - The Center for Food Safety has voiced grave concern regarding news of yet another contamination episode involving an unapproved, genetically engineered (GE) crop.� Known as �Event 32,’ the unapproved GE corn had found its way into three commercial corn seed lines that were planted on a total of 72,000 acres over the past two years.� The announcement, made today by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states that Dow AgroSciences notified the agencies and was instructed to recall the seed lines found to be containing the unapproved crop.

Event �32′ is a GE corn variety that contains a built-in insecticide, and has not undergone the regulatory review process established for insecticide-producing GE corn.� In 2000/01, another insecticide-producing GE corn known as Starlink was mistakenly introduced into the nation’s food supply, leading to the nation’s largest-ever food recall due to concerns that it could cause allergies in those who consumed contaminated corn products.

“These days, it appears that the U.S. is not much better than China when it comes to allowing unapproved additives into foods destined for export,” said Joe Mendelson, Legal Director of the Center for Food Safety.� “These contamination episodes pose potential risks to consumers and hurt farmers through lower prices and lost markets, especially overseas.� It’s long past time we passed laws that make biotech companies financially liable for their sloppy and reckless behavior.”

The unapproved GE corn variety, known as Event 32, was detected by Dow Agrosciences in its Herculex RW and Herculex XTRA corn lines.� Seeds containing the unapproved �Event 32′ was sold to farmers by Dow affiliate Mycogen Seeds and planted in 2006 and 2007.� While USDA, FDA and EPA issued a press release to quell consumer concerns, �Event 32′ has not undergone established regulatory review procedures to check for potential adverse environmental or human health impacts.

“The fact is that consumers have been exposed to yet another unapproved genetically altered plant, and since no testing has occurred, we cannot know what the health effects might be,” continued Mendelson.� “In light of this week’s massive recall of beef, the agencies’ assurance that this corn poses no risk to consumers has a hollow ring.”

The Center for Food Safety is national, non-profit, membership organization founded in 1997 that works to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. On the web at: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org

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