MAHARISHI INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF NATURAL LAW PARTIES
NEWS SERVICEMarkt 1
6063 AC Vlodrop
On 30 November 1999, Dr John Hagelin (www.hagelin.org), the presidential candidate of the Natural Law Party (NLP) of the USA, testified in Washington, D.C., at the public hearing organised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 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 labelling.
As a nuclear physicist, I have seen first-hand the results of the hasty commercialisation 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 commercialisation 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 minimal.
That is why I have helped draft legislation calling for mandatory labelling 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 labelling legislation.
It's time our government fulfil its responsibility to put the safety of the American people first - instead of serving as apologists for the biotech industry.
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