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AUDIO FILE: The Politics and Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods

Marion Nestle, author of the critically acclaimed book "Food Politics," argues that ensuring safe food involves more than washing hands or cooking food to higher temperatures. It involves politics.
This was the main theme of her presentation when she appeared at the First Unitarian Church on March 25, 2003.BR> The evening began with about a 10 minute presentation on food politics in Washington D.C., and was followed by a slide show. This audio file is from the first 10 minute presentation. There is a slight hiss in the background, but the file is easily audible.
Nestle quotes from a number of items about food safety occurring in the press from the last week of February through the middle of March to demonstrate why food safety is such a matter of politics. The first was an article announcing that the Deparatment of Agriculture had just appointed a new Director for it's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the office that issues dietary guidelines to the public. The person in question was Dr. Eric Hedges. His previous job was with the National Pork Board.....and before that he worked for the National Livestock and Beef Board.
Another article, from the Los Angeles Times, announced that they did an investigative report of the relationship of supplement manufacturers to Senator Orin Hatch, the Senator from Utah. The Senator was the most responsible for the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, which virtually deregulated dietary supplements. It turned out that the Senator has a son who is a lobbyist for the supplement industry, and between 1998 and 2001, according to the Los Angeles Times, supplement manufactures gave 2 million dollars to Orin Hatch's son, a million of which came from the maufacturers of Ephedra, the supplement responsible for the deaths of at least 100 people.
Later that week the Washington Post reported that a rider in the Federal spending bill was stuck in at the last minute by Dennis Hastert, speaker of the House, at the urging of the congressman from Georgia, who had received $4,000 from an organic meat producer in his district. Organic meat producers were unhappy that the cost of organic feed was so high, and so for the paltry sum of $4,000 they got their represenatative to put a rider in the spending bill that would allow the producers of organic meat to use a non organic feed anytime the cost of organic feed was twice the cost of inorganic feed.
She continues with case after case, article after article, for 10 minutes, finishing with an article from Food Chemical News concerning the creation of a single food agency in Washington that would be responsible for food safety. This would take care of the lack of coordination between the FDA, the USDA and the EPA, and would hold one agency accountable for the safety of our food supply. This idea did not meet with the approval of the Department of Agricultures Under Secretary of Food Safety, in spite of having the support of the General Accounting Office and many advocates for food safety.
For information on Biotechnology and Genetically Modified Organisms(GMO's)
Northwest Resistance Against Genetic Engineering

Marion Nestle

The link provided takes you to a page where this and other audio files are located.

homepage: homepage: http://www.PhilosopherSeed.org/audio.htm