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EPA Seeks Comment on StarLink White Paper

Release Date: 10/17/2007
Contact Information: (Media only) Dale Kemery, (202) 564-4355 / kemery.dale@epa.gov (Other inquiries) Doug Parsons, (202) 564-0341 / parsons.douglas@epa.gov

(10/17/07) EPA is seeking public comment on a draft white paper that recommends withdrawal of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's guidance to test for the StarLink protein Cry9C in corn grain. StarLink is a biotechnology-derived variety of insect-resistant corn. It was approved by EPA for animal feed and industrial uses, but not for human consumption, because of unanswered questions relating to Cry9C being a possible allergen. However, there has been no scientific evidence linking StarLink to any allergic reactions.

The registrant voluntarily cancelled its registration in 2000 when StarLink corn was detected in human food, since its presence rendered the food adulterated. At that time, as part of a broad effort to remove any remaining StarLink from the human food supply, FDA recommended that the milling industry establish a comprehensive program to test all yellow corn. EPA's white paper analyzes seven years of testing data and concludes that continued testing of corn for StarLink provides no added protection for human health.

In 2006, 99.99 percent of more than 412 million bushels of corn tested negative. The analysis shows that, after seven years, StarLink has been virtually eliminated from the U.S. food supply.
For additional information: epa.gov/pesticides/biopesticides/pips/starlink_corn_monitoring.htm