SOC/BIO: Anti-anti-GM

Date: Fri Jul 21 2000 - 12:11:24 MDT

> Advocates of Safe and Nutritious Food Defend Genetic Engineering
>Washington, DC, July 19, 2000 - Supporters of agricultural biotechnology
>sponsored a counter-protest today against environmental activists calling
>themselves "Genetically Engineered Food Alert". "Food Alert" activists
>were protesting grocery stores and food producers selling genetically
>engineered products.
>"Agricultural biotechnology is an important and safe tool for improving
>food products and boosting agricultural productivity," said Gregory Conko,
>Director of Food Safety Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
>CEI joined with other groups, including Consumer Alert, The Hudson
>Institute, Citizens Against Government Waste, Center for International
>Food and Agriculture Policy, and the American Council on Science and
>Health in supporting the decision by those companies to embrace genetic
>engineering and agricultural biotechnology.
>The "Genetically Engineered Food Alert" representatives appeared at a
>Washington-area Safeway grocery store to demand that the supermarket
>refund their money for products that contained genetically engineered
>ingredients, claiming that such ingredients somehow make a products less
>The counter-protestors, including five CEI staff members, were quick to
>correct them, noting that not only are foods developed with biotechnology
>safe for consumers and for the environment, they can be a powerful tool in
>helping to alleviate global poverty and hunger. After Food Alert
>activists returned food products purchased at Safeway earlier in the day,
>CEI staffers immediately volunteered to repurchase those same items,
>including canned soups, cookies, and breakfast cereals.
>Counter-protestors distributed a letter praising Safeway for not giving in
>to anti-biotechnology hysteria. They also distributed copies of a
>Declaration in Support of Agricultural Biotechnology signed by nearly
>2,800 scientists from around the world, including three Nobel laureates.
>"Agricultural biotechnology allows scientists to create plants that are
>more productive, more nutritious, cheaper to grow, and require less
>fertilization," said Conko. "That's why so many scientists are rallying
>in support of this technology."
>CEI, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group founded in 1984, is
>dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For
>more information, please contact Emily McGee, director of media relations,
>at 202-331-1010, ext. 209.

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