August 28, 2013
The Saudi Arabian food chain has been widely contaminated with GM ingredients, according to a new study. The findings include controversial StarLink maize banned for human consumption in the US over ten years ago.
The study published in the journal Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology earlier this month found that genetically modified StarLink maize, allowed for domestic animal feed only in the US, has been contaminating Saudi Arabian products.
StarLink is a trade mark for a type of GM maize manufactured by Aventis Crop Science at the time when it was going through the American apparatus. Later it was bought by Bayer.
Back in 1998 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the maize for domestic animal feed only, so the company manufacturing StarLink decided not to apply for separate approval for human and animal consumption.
Nevertheless, residues of StarLink maize were detected in taco shells in September 2000, indicating that it had entered the human food chain.
Following the findings all genetically modified food was recalled causing widespread disruption to the corn markets in 2000 and 2001.
Aventis then withdrew its registration for StarLink maize varieties in October 2000 and promised it would no longer be produced.
Despite these assurances, aid sent by the UN World Food Program and the US to a number of Central American nations was found to be highly contaminated with StarLink corn. 80% of the 50 samples tested came back positive for StarLink maize and Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador were all compelled to refuse the aid, according to the journal Green Med.
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