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From March 9, 2001

StarLink Corn Found in Morningstar Farms Products

Tests, paid for by Greenpeace, found that veggie burgers and meat-free corn dogs manufactured by Morningstar Farms contain genetically engineered (GE) soy and StarLink™ corn. StarLink™ has yet to be approved for human consumption. These findings highlight the difficulty that food manufacturers, even those making "natural foods" face in keeping contaminated corn out of their products.

Morningstar Farms was purchased by Kellogg Company in 1999. Kellogg Co. had informed its customers about its conversion to soy protein that is not produced with GE soy, according to a recent LA Times article. The article quotes Chris Ervin, a Kellogg spokeswoman, "This was an isolated incident. It was a case of a supplier not providing ingredients to our specifications." (Click here to read the LA Times story).

Consumers have good reason to question the reliability of such statements. StarLink™ corn hit the news headlines back in October of 2000 when the Genetically Engineered Food Alert coalition found the GE corn in taco shells. Following that discovery, the manufacturers of StarLink™, Aventis CropScience asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to soften the blow of a potentially costly recall by temporarily approving their genetically altered StarLink™ corn for human consumption. EPA convened a Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) to provide an independent assessment of the allergenic risks associated with StarLink™. The panel found that there was a medium likelihood that the corn is a potential allergen and did not approve the corn for human consumption. (Click here for EPA press release).