E-mail this article to
yourself or a friend.
Enter address:


United Nations scrutinizes biotech food, 'Mad Cow' dangers

(Monday, June 30, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- AFP via Agnet: ROME - Food derived from biotechnology and problems of meat consumption following the "mad cow" health scare, according to this story, come under the scrutiny this week of a United Nations food safety commission that convened here Monday, with some 600 experts from 169 countries were set to adopt controversial new standards in food safety and revise others.

FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf was quoted as saying that, "Food safety is not a luxury of the rich, but a right of all people."

The story says that with biotechnology, intensive farming and refinement now major health issues, the Codex Alimentarius Commission will decide on the adoption of standards designed to safeguard the health of consumers worldwide, while improving global agricultural trade opportunities.

An FAO statement was quoted as saying, "Standards up for adoption by the Commission include the establishment of methods to assess the risk of foods derived from biotechnology and a standard that would allow increased levels of radiation to be used in food irradiation, a process that delays food spoilage and increases shelf life. In response to concerns about meat consumption and consumer safety in the wake of problems such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease), some of the standards before the Commission would establish principles of meat hygiene, a code of practice on good animal feeding, including feed additives and maximum residue limits in food products for veterinary drugs. These include broad general principles covering issues such as pre-market safety evaluations and the role of product tracing for food safety and post-market monitoring.

Separate detailed guidelines have been prepared for the scientific assessments of DNA-modified plants and foods and beverages derived from DNA-modified micro-organisms. Special attention has been paid to the question of assessing whether such products could provoke unexpected allergies in consumers."