Allergic reactions no link to StarLink

WASHINGTON – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found no evidence that self-reported allergic responses experienced last fall are connected to the Cry9c protein contained in StarLink corn.

The protein, which has pesticidal properties, was inserted into StarLink corn to protect the crop against several insects. StarLink was never approved for use in food intended for human consumption.

An independent body of scientific experts will convene July 17-18 for a two-day public meeting to review a set of issues that EPA is considering as it reviews StarLink corn.

During the past several months, EPA has worked closely with the USDA, FDA and CDC on the investigation into potential allergenicity of StarLink, the effect of processing on the StarLink protein and development of a detection methodology for Cry9c in processed foods.

These federal agencies have also coordinated in the effort to ensure that StarLink corn is not entering the human food supply.

USDA buys seed corn.

Last week, the USDA completed its purchase of more than 322,000 hybrid seed corn units containing the protein Cry9C from 63 small- and medium-size seed companies. The purchases cost an estimate $12.9 million.

The majority of seed corn produced in the United States was not affected, as the number of seed corn kernels that contained Cry9C was less than 1 percent of the entire 2001 supply of hybrid seed corn.

Corn containing Cry9C may be fed to animals; it is not approved for use as food for human consumption.

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