News Release

Food Safety: New Arguments About U.S. Health and Foreign Trade

As tensions mount between Europe and the United States on trade disputes over food and other issues, some researchers contend that Europeans are raising issues vital to American consumers. Among the analysts available for comment are:

MARK RITCHIE
President of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Ritchie said: “The United States is known for dumping risky foods in other countries. When certain chemicals were banned in the U.S., for example, we shipped soda pop containing those chemicals to Vietnam… The reason the U.S. is being so aggressive on hormone beef is that, when asked, American consumers overwhelmingly also reject it. If the Europeans are allowed to reject it, that will give more impetus to an anti-hormone-beef consumer stance in this country as well.”
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DEBORAH TOLER
“Money and politics are ruining our food supply and our environment and in so doing are threatening the health of all of us,” said Toler, a policy analyst with the Institute for Public Accuracy. “The whole impetus behind genetically modified crops and the growing use of antibodies in chickens and cattle is to increase agribusiness profits. Agribusiness pumps millions of dollars into election campaigns to make sure congressional representatives see to it that agencies intended to protect the environment and consumers — like the EPA and the FDA — are thwarted in their efforts to assess, much less control, the damage that untested but highly profitable technologies cause.”

JOHN STAUBER
Co-author of Mad Cow U.S.A. and editor of PR Watch, Stauber said: “European opposition to beef hormones and genetically engineered food is beneficial to Americans, too. Americans deserve to know and decide in the marketplace whether to buy and consume meat and dairy products from animals pumped up with hormones and antibiotics. By refusing to label foods to identify if they were produced with antibiotics, hormones and genetic engineering, the U.S. government is placing the interests of industry over consumer safety and the right to know.”
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CHARLES MARGULIS
The genetic engineering issue expert at Greenpeace, which is leading a global effort to get an international ban on the release of genetically engineered organisms into the environment, Margulis said: “The EPA and the FDA are allowing an untested bacterium that kills insect larvae into our food stream. Unlike new drugs which have to undergo extensive animal and human testing before they are allowed on the market, there have not been long-term animal — much less human — studies of the effects of [the bacterium] Bt on human health.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167