GM Food Debate Gets Spicy

Whether sitting down to a relaxing dinner or grabbing fast food, people don't think about the origin of every ingredient in the food they eat. But as biotechnology applications in commercial agriculture increase, controversy over the risks versus the benefits also continues to rise. In mid-September, public citizen groups, including Genetically Engineered Food Alert and the Union of Concerned Scientists, requested a recall of taco shells that allegedly contained genetically engineered corn. Inde

Kate Devine
Oct 29, 2000

Whether sitting down to a relaxing dinner or grabbing fast food, people don't think about the origin of every ingredient in the food they eat. But as biotechnology applications in commercial agriculture increase, controversy over the risks versus the benefits also continues to rise. In mid-September, public citizen groups, including Genetically Engineered Food Alert and the Union of Concerned Scientists, requested a recall of taco shells that allegedly contained genetically engineered corn. Independent testing by Kraft Foods Inc. confirmed that flour from genetically altered corn containing a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) gene was used in a Mexican taco shell plant and a recall was initiated. The Bt gene produces a protein toxic to certain insects and the corn is currently not government-approved for human consumption due to an allergic-response potential.

Citizen groups claim that this incident is an example of the flaws in the current regulatory system for genetically...

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