Grain of Truth
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday that it had found no evidence that genetically engineered StarLink corn causes allergic reactions in humans. Blood tests of 17 people who had complained of reactions after eating corn taco shells and tortillas last fall failed to turn up any signs of antibodies to the protein in Starlink, indicating that none of the people had experienced an allergic reaction. Starlink has spread through the U.S.’s food supply, even though it hasn’t been approved for human consumption. The developer of the corn, Aventis, has asked the U.S. EPA to permit small amounts of Starlink to be present in food without requiring massive, costly recalls. The EPA might cite the CDC’s conclusion as a reason to go ahead with the permit. But critics of genetically engineered foods said the study was too small to be meaningful.