GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Good News!! Finally!! A Crack in the Dam!!



from AP Wire page:
 02/24/1997 11:52 EST

 Firm To Label Engineered Foods

 BOSTON (AP) -- One of the world's largest biotechnology companies says it
 begin labeling genetically engineered products, a practice urged by consumer
 advocates and resisted within the agribusiness industry.

 Novartis, a Swiss drug, chemical and agribusiness company formed in December
 by the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz, announced its decision today at an
 international conference sponsored by Tufts University.

 ``If we believe in the `right to choose' for consumers, the industry
cannot reasonably
 argue against labels facilitating this choice,'' said Wolfgang Samo, the
head of
 agribusiness at Novartis.

 Opponents of bioengineering and consumer advocates have been pushing for such
 labels. The industry has said they are unnecessary, however, because they
 higher health risks from foods and crops that have been genetically
altered. No such
 increased risk has yet been proven by scientists.

 ``Genetically enhanced products are overall superior to conventional
ones,'' Samo

 His remarks appeared in a statement from Novartis. They were prepared for
 later today at the first International Conference on Regulation of Crop
Protection and
 its Implication for the Food Supply.

 Samo said results of a recent national survey showed that Americans prefer
 bioengineering to pesticides as methods to increase crop production and
 by a wide margin. In addition, 71 percent of those surveyed said they
 bioengineered food is at least somewhat safe.