Findings support need for increased awareness by parents
and labeling of genetically engineered food products
(Portland, OR) Just as Oregonians are voting on whether to label genetically engineered foods, Center for Food Safety (CFS) announced today that genetic testing has confirmed the presence of soy that has been genetically engineered by Monsanto for heavy pesticide exposure in infant formula that is being sold in Portland, Oregon. The testing was coordinated between CFS and Dr. Ray Seidler, the first EPA scientist to study genetically engineered crops (now retired) and former professor at Oregon State University. With recent published studies confirming that genetically engineered soy has significantly higher levels of chemical herbicides than conventionally grown soy, the test findings raise concerns about increasing infant exposure to chemical herbicides. The testing follows up on a recent nationwide study by Consumer Reports finding genetically engineered ingredients in more than 80 common food products.
“I think most moms purchasing infant formula have no idea they are feeding their baby a product that has been genetically engineered to survive exposure to high levels of chemical pesticides,” says Aurora Paulsen with Center for Food Safety’s Portland office. “It’s no surprise that Monsanto is the top donor opposing Measure 92 which would give Oregonians the ability to know what foods have been genetically engineered. The presence of these products in infant formula being sold in Oregon really highlights the need for basic labeling.”
Dr. Ray Seidler agrees. “Everything we know from the recent medical literature suggests we should be doing everything possible to reduce infant exposure to chemicals. Finding soy in infant formula that has been genetically engineered specifically to survive high levels of chemical pesticide spraying is a real concern and takes us in the wrong direction.”
Genetic tests were conducted on three brands of infant formula bought at the Fred Meyer in Portland. Two products that tested positive for genetically engineered soy included Similac Soy Isomil and Enfamil Prosobee Powder Soy Infant Formula. Both products tested positive for Monsanto’s genetically engineered soy that is engineered to tolerate spraying with the herbicide glyphosate, as well as, Liberty Link soy that has been genetically engineered by Bayer Crop Sciences to tolerate spraying with the herbicide glufosinate.