Liberal, Irreverent

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Keep GE Corn for Ethanol Refineries Out of My Cornflakes!

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The United States Department of Agriculture is considering a petition from Syngenta Seeds seeking nonregulated status for a new genetically engineered corn seed that is modified to produce an enzyme that facilitates ethanol production. This new industrial GE corn could pose significant threats to the human food supply. Can you tell the new Obama Administration USDA it's time time to stand up for our food supply?

Syngenta is asking the USDA for permission to plant their non-food GE corn without any regulation. The particular genetic change that they've made to this corn is adding a plant pathogen from an exotic enzyme derived from "thermophilic" (heat-loving) microorganisms living near deep sea hydrothermal vents. These exotic enzymes are not currently in the food system. This corn designed for ethanol refineries will almost certainly accidentally enter the food supply as tortilla chips, corn oil and sweeteners. Plus, the leftover corn residues from ethanol production (called distillers grains) are fed to cattle, hogs and chickens that end up on supermarket shelves.

The worst part about this proposal is that we're putting the food system at risk to help the controversial ethanol industry save a few pennies in processing. At best, ethanol has little impact on global warming - and may even make the situation worse. And the rush to ethanol has created a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico hundreds of miles long where no aquatic life can survive. Fortunately, we've got a new Administration that we can ask to stand up to corporate interests.

Tell USDA to take a stand for food safety by saying no to industrial GE corn for ethanol.

Thanks for taking action,

Sarah, Noelle, and The Food Team
Food & Water Watch

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