Re: GE: FDA recalls Starlink

From: Corwyn J. Alambar (
Date: Thu Nov 02 2000 - 12:47:39 MST

Give one to teh FDA for consistency, at the very least. According to their
determination process. StarLink has "not et been approved for human
consumption". It's the same standard that it applies to drugs when it
tests for ssafety and efficacy. If it's not yet gotten the "human use" seal
of approval, you can use it for animals, but not on people.

The arguement about allergies is semantic - We are talking about two different
types of allergies here. Anyone who suffers hay fever may think that it's
the end of te world - but unless you've gone into allergic shock from exposure
to something in your food (or a beesting), you don't know anything about what
"allergic" really means in the health arena. Food allergies are serious
things, not the sort of sniffles and congestion caused commonly by ragweed
pollen, animal dander, or dust mites.

The way I understand it, the concern with the StarLink corn has to do with a
gene from a bacillus that is toxic to insects, but non-toxic to most mammals.
The problem is that in some percentage of the population, this protein that is
toxic to insects can cause allergic reactions of varying strengths, up to and
including anaphylactic (sp?) shock. The FDA has not done enough testing on
human beings to find out whether or not this gene expresses the specific
protein that causes this allergic reaction.

On the same score, I'm not a proponent for making things 100% safe - that's
never going to happen. But just like we have little notes on most everything
that i contains phenylalanine, we could have a similar designation, if the
fear of allergic reaction proves founded.


> As some of you may have noticed already, the FDA has forced Mission to recall a
> rather large list of corn products sold under Kraft license, not for any actual
> evidence that it is unsafe, but because the products have been found to have
> been tainted by StarLink variety corn. The EPA has no actual proof that human
> consumption is harmful, but has concerns that people with certain allergies may
> have reactions to the corn varietal (if the EPA is now an allergy regulatory
> body, thats the first that I've heard of it, I want cats, ragweed, and dust
> mites outlawed pronto), as if discomfort is somehow to be equated with harm.
> (hell, Al Gore discomforts me, and I don't see a superfund site sign on him
> (though I'm sure thats what all the soft money is for))

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