While more and more people are aware of Monsanto’s history and their genetically engineered foods, they still miss something just as important: The FDA’s surprising lack of safety testing.
In particular, the FDA has declared “substantial equivalence” in regard to GMOs – meaning there is no long-term, independent testing of genetically modified foods and crops.
Most recently, this means that Del Monte’s proposed GMO pineapple has been declared safe by the FDA based entirely on information Del Monte provided.
Here’s what you need to know, however:
- Del Monte’s new “extra sweet pink flesh” pineapple is to be grown in Costa Rica.
- According to the FDA, “Del Monte’s new pineapple has been genetically engineered to produce lower levels of the enzymes already in conventional pineapple that convert the pink pigment lycopene to the yellow pigment beta carotene. Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red and watermelons pink, so it is commonly and safely consumed.”
- “(Del Monte) submitted information to the agency to demonstrate that the pink flesh pineapple is as safe and nutritious as its conventional counterparts,” the FDA said according to this report from NBC News.
- The pineapples will not be labeled as a GMO product. Instead, they’ll simply be labeled “extra sweet pink flesh” in grocery stores nationwide.
While genetic engineering can be explained simply in a surface way, it also can create unseen changes at a cellular level that the everyday person is not aware of, critics say. When GMOs were originally approved, the FDA ignored its own scientists’ warnings about potential allergens and long-term health concerns.
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