Illegal genetically modified organisms found in Germany

Feature story - September 11, 2009
Residents of Germany, (and the rest of you Europeans) watch your breakfast! We've just learned there's a secret genetically-engineered ingredient in some of your food that shouldn't be there.

Linseed.

Illegal genetically-engineered linseed (also known as flaxseed) from Canadian fields has been found in some of Germany's baked goods and cereal, according to the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed. 

The linseed, which was never commercially grown in Canada, contains an antibiotic-resistant and herbicide-tolerant gene and has not been approved in the European Union. Though linseed is not a staple food, it is a widely-used health-food and can be found in baked goods, cereal and oil.

In a test conducted by the German federal state Baden-Württemberg, 39 percent of the samples were found to be contaminated. 

Greenpeace Germany today released the results of their research finding genetic contamination in products such as bread, cereals, baking mixes and in whole and crushed linseed.

"Without knowing it, the German population has become guinea pigs," stated Alexander Hissting, one of our experts on Genetic Engineering (GE). This proves, yet again, that once released into nature, genetically engineered constructs are uncontrollable and cannot be recalled.

The German Federal State has already announced that the linseed contamination is a European problem. 

We are calling for world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to recognise that the only effective protection from the uncontrolled spread of genetically modified organisms is a worldwide ban on their cultivation. 

In the meantime, Germans should be made aware of which brands have been affected by the infected linseed, and those products should be taken off the shelves. 

We stand against genetically modified organisms. There is insufficient scientific research on their effects on the environment and human health. Genetic engineering is a threat to biodiversity as GE plants can spread and infect natural strains.

Linseed is a widely-used health-food and can be found in baked goods, cereal and oil.  68 percent of Canadian-grown linseed is exported to Europe, and a proposed ban on the import of the seed would be devastating to Canadian farmers.  This strain is illegal for commercial growth in Canada, which has led to questions as to how the contamination could have occurred. 

This is just the latest example of this type of contamination: in 2006, unapproved GE rice spread all over the world, and earlier this summer, shipments of American soybeans containing traces of GE corn were blocked before entering Europe.

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What's next? The Genetic Engineering industry wants all the rice in China. Don't let them have it.

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