Monsanto, Dow stack up the genes…

BERLIN – The most complex genetically engineered corn (maize) yet has been approved for use next year in Canada and the United States without its potential health and environmental risks being investigated, anti-biotech activists claim.

Neither US nor Canadian health officials have assessed the human health safety of Monsanto’s and Dow AgroSciences’ new “SmartStax” genetically engineered (GE) corn with eight novel genes inserted into corn DNA, said the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN), an non-governmental organization based in Ottawa, Canada.

“Health Canada did not conduct or require any testing for this new eight-trait GE [also called genetically modified, GM or GMO] corn and did not even officially authorize it for release into the food system,” said Lucy Sharratt, CBAN’s coordinator. Health Canada is the federal department responsible for “helping Canadians maintain and improve their health”, according to its web site.

“People will be eating corn with eight novel traits without any assessment of the potential health risks. Questions about risks are being ignored,” Sharratt told Inter Press Service.
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