2.USDA Refuses to Recall 'Comingled' Meat
EXTRACT: '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. 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.'
'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.'
1.Genetically engineered corn recalled
By Robert Pore
The Grand Island Independent, 26 February 2008 http://www.theindependent.com/stories/02262008/new_cornrecall26.shtml
Following on the heels of a massive recall of 143 million pounds of beef by the federal government earlier this month, government officials have now recalled a tainted genetically engineered variety of corn.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they are coordinating efforts following notification by Dow AgroSciences that the company detected extremely low levels of an unregistered genetically engineered (GE) pesticide product known as a plant-incorporated protectant (PIP) in three of its commercial GE hybrid corn seed lines.
According to Dow, the unregistered product produces proteins that are identical to a registered product.
The USDA, EPA and FDA have concluded that there are no public health, food or feed safety concerns. Additionally, USDA and EPA have determined that the unregistered GE corn PIP poses no plant pest or environmental concerns.
The unregistered GE corn PIP, known as Event 32, was found in some Herculex RW and Herculex XTRA Rootworm Protection products.
Seed containing low levels of the unregistered Event 32 was inadvertently sold to farmers by Dow's affiliate Mycogen Seeds and planted in 2006 and 2007.
EPA and USDA previously approved Herculex Rootworm Protection products containing a closely related PIP, Event 22. These products are also approved for use in several foreign countries.
In Nebraska, nearly 11.5 million acres of 13.1 million acres of corn and soybeans planted in 2007 were of biotechnology varieties. According to the USDA, 79 percent of Nebraska's corn was genetically engineered varieties and 95 percent of the soybeans was genetically engineered.
The Center for Food Safety has expressed concern about the recall of a 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, according to the center.
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, according to the center.
'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.'
According to the center, though the government said Event 32 poses no health risk, it has not undergone established regulatory review procedures to check for potential adverse environmental or human health impacts.
It was the same lack of regulatory oversight that led to the massive beef recall this month and is expected to widen further, according to the Grocery Manufacturers of America, as more processed food is recalled that contains the beef, including soups, sauces, burritos and bouillon cubes. According to GMA, that could cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars.
'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,' Mendelson said. '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.'
According to the EPA, analysis determined that the introduced proteins produced by Event 32 are identical to those approved for Event 22, and therefore they are covered by an existing tolerance exemption (EPA food safety clearance).
FDA has concluded there are no food or feed safety concerns because EPA has determined that the introduced proteins in Event 32 are safe and because corn containing Event 32 is present in food or feed, if at all, only at low levels. In addition, APHIS' scientific analysis concluded that Event 32 poses no plant pest or environmental concerns.
The 2008 U.S. corn crop will not be affected. APHIS took steps to ensure Dow recalled all affected seed that was shipped to dealers for the 2008 planting season. APHIS and EPA are coordinating efforts to investigate potential violations under their respective regulatory acts.
According to government officials, Corn Event 32 was found at extremely low levels about three seeds per 1,000 in affected Herculex seed products.
Dow reported that in 2007 about 53,000 acres of the affected products were planted in the United States. Total U.S. corn acreage in 2007 was more than 93 million acres.
But despite the low levels, Keith Dittrich, chairman of the American Corn Grower Association's Board of Directors, said he's concerned with inadequate oversight by USDA that allowed the unregistered genetically engineered (GE) pesticide product to be planted in the first place.
'Just as the recent large beef recall has regrettably called into question our U.S. beef supply, our regulatory system must go to great lengths to ensure that no unapproved GE strains are allowed onto the market,' said Dittrich.
He said the ACGA is calling for a more stringent, unbiased testing to be the standard when determining the safety of genetically modified materials.
'This is especially important in the case of a basic commodity, such as corn, which can be found in a high percentage of food products on our shelves today,' Dittrich said.
2.USDA Refuses to Recall 'Comingled' Meat That Contains Beef from Westland Plant Downer Cows
by Mike Adams
NaturalNews, February 22 2008 [extract only] http://www.naturalnews.com/022703.html
Following the unprecedented recall of 143 million pounds of beef that was potentially contaminated with mad cow disease, the USDA has decided that it's okay for children and consumer to eat that beef as long as it is comingled with beef from other cows. This startling decision appeared in a USDA memo reported in the Wall Street Journal, which stated:
'If a processor or grinder has records demonstrating that products were produced using less than 100% of recalled Westland meat for the meat component, then there is no need...to retrieve that 'commingled' product.'
This statement from the USDA reveals that the agency believes the recalled beef is so dangerous that nobody should eat it, but it's safe enough to eat alongside beef from other cows. This is a curious -- if not downright laughable -- stance to take on public safety. If the meat is potentially contaminated with mad cow disease (which is the whole reason why it was recalled in the first place), then mixing mad cow disease-contaminated meat with non-contaminated meat does not reduce the potential danger of the 'commingled' meat in any way whatsoever.
Video: See the exclusive video clip on Factory Farms and Slaughterhouse Cruelty at http://www.NaturalNews.com/022702.html
USDA nonsense and the betrayal of the public
How does adding another cow's meat to the downer cow's meat make the downer cow's meat any safer? It doesn't, of course, but the USDA isn't really interested in consumer safety. That's why they've issued this statement that means a meat packing company can use 99% of its beef from mad cow disease 'downer' cows, and 1% of its beef from healthy cows, and it's all declared 'safe' by the USDA with no need to recall the beef!