DR. JOHN HAGELIN TESTIFIES AT
WASHINGTON, D.C., FDA HEARING
On November 30, 1999, Natural Law Party presidential candidate Dr. John Hagelin testified in Washington, D.C., at the public hearing organized by the Food and Drug Administration to address concerns about genetically engineered foods. The text of his statement follows.
I'm John Hagelin, nuclear physicist and presidential candidate of America's fastest growing political party-the Natural Law Party.
As a scientist, I am deeply concerned about the genetic manipulation of food. I am concerned about the health and environmental risks of this radical technology, which manipulates life at its foundation.
The possibility of unanticipated allergic and toxic reactions is already well documented. Even the FDA's own staff scientists have warned of the "possibility of high concentrations of plant toxicants" in these experimental foods.
And of course, the ENVIRONMENTAL risks from these experimental crops are incalculable-from the gene pollution that results from breaking down genetic barriers put in place by Nature.
And yet our government has helped slip these foods onto our grocery store shelves without safety testing and with no labeling.
As a nuclear physicist, I have seen first-hand the results of the hasty commercialization of nuclear technologies that have threatened mankind with extinction. I am similarly concerned that short-term financial interests of a few biotech firms are guiding the commercialization of these equally-dangerous genetic technologies.
Genetically engineered crops have fulfilled none of their promises of higher yields or environmental benefits. And since molecular biologists are themselves deeply divided about the safety of these foods, there is NO SCIENTIFIC BASIS for the government's assurances that the risks are mininal.
That is why I have helped draft legislation calling for mandatory labeling and safety testing. That is why thousands of Natural Law Party candidates across the country will challenge their incumbents on televised debates as to where they stand on this crucial labeling legislation.
It's time our government fulfill its responsibility to put the safety of the American people first-instead of serving as apologists for the biotech industry.
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