ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
Date:  9 March 2001


Marcus Williamson on the UK situation where Morningstar seem to mostly be sold via supermarkets:

Hi Jonathan

The importers/distributors are Adams Marketing, with whom I've had contact in the past. See here for info on the possibly contaminated items:


[possible products *may* include:
* meatless Streaky Strips
* meat-free Back Bacon
* 'Not Ham' Ham-Flavour Slices
* Spicy American Sausage Burger
* Hard Rock Cafe Veggie Burger ]
*  *  *
anothewr article on the Kelloggs story at:
*  *  *
Greenpeace claims Kellogg product has StarLink
Reuters Company News - March 08, 
CHICAGO, March 8 (Reuters) - Environmental group Greenpeace said on
Thursday it had detected traces of a gene-altered corn variety not  approved for human consumption in vegetarian corn dogs made by Kellogg  Co. .

A Greenpeace scientist urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to order a nationwide recall of Kellogg's Morningstar Farms brand meatless corn dogs that Greenpeace said contain StarLink corn. The allegation comes more than five months after StarLink -- which is
barred from human consumption because of concerns it might trigger allergic reactions -- was discovered in another company's taco shells, prompting a massive recall of more than 300 food products. Christine Ervin, a spokeswoman for Battle Creek, Michigan-based Kellogg,
said the company had sent the corn dogs for independent testing.

"We understand that the lab they (Greenpeace) sent it to has supposedly found it (StarLink)," Ervin told Reuters. "We have informed the FDA and are sending it for independent testing."
She said the company has not decided whether to recall the corn dogs. In late September, Kraft Foods, a unit of Philip Morris Cos. , caused a stir when it said traces of the StarLink corn variety, engineered by European pharmaceutical giant Aventis SA , were detected in Taco Bell
brand taco shells.

StarLink was also found in food products in Japan, the top buyer of U.S. corn, and South Korea, which led to sharp declines in American corn imports by the two Asian nations. The U.S. Agriculture Department said in a monthly report released on Thursday that StarLink had hurt U.S. corn exports, helping to pummel prices to about 15-year lows. Farmers claiming to have suffered financially from the slump in corn exports and lower prices have filed class-action lawsuits against the U.S. unit of Aventis.

Industry sources said it would cost Aventis hundreds of millions of dollars to compensate farmers who grew StarLink or had their corn contaminated by the variety.

Greenpeace genetic engineering specialist Charles Margulis told a news conference on Thursday that tests commissioned by the group on three Kellogg food products revealed a gene-altered soy ingredient and genetically modified corn.

"We tested three Kellogg products purchased from a Maryland Safeway store in late February," Margulis said. "We sent them to a British laboratory for genetic-engineering testing. All three products tested positive for genetically engineered soy, and one product tested positive
for Bt corn, a genetically engineered corn.

"The product with the Bt corn...we decided to see if it contained StarLink," Margulis said. "The British lab doesn't do StarLink testing, so we sent another sample of the product to Genetic ID, a lab in Iowa...and the product tested positive for StarLink."

He said the tests showed that Kellogg's Morningstar non-meat burgers and vegetable patties contained a genetically modified soy ingredient, but not StarLink corn. Margulis said the tests showed Morningstar corn dogs contained less than 1 percent StarLink, the same amount found in previously recalled food items.

Kellogg said that its Worthington Foods unit had never claimed in its labeling that its products were free of genetically modified crops. An FDA spokeswoman said the agency is investigating the Greenpeace complaint and that it is testing a variety of foods containing corn for the presence of StarLink.

The USDA, which announced a buy-back program on Wednesday of some corn seed contaminated with StarLink bio-corn's unique protein, known as Cry9C, had no comment.
Food makers said most of the controversy stems from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 1998 approval of StarLink for animal feed but not for human consumption.

On Wednesday, the EPA announced it would not grant any more so-called "split registrations," allowing a biotech plant to be used for animal feed but not for humans.

"The key point is that StarLink's presence in food is the result of the failed policy of the approval process set by the EPA," said Peter Cleary, spokesman for the Grocery Manufacturers of America. "That system allowed StarLink to enter the food supply."

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