Mystery ingredient

An international body has ruled that governments are not allowed to trace the sources of their food’s genetic origins, unless a food turns out to be dangerous and the culprit is a modified gene. The UN panel which ruled on issues about international food trade, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, has been condemned by Bruno Heinzer of Greenpeace as the decision will ‘increase the risk of a plant-food equivalent of mad cow disease’. He claims: ‘The US will interpret this as meaning you only do the checks after an accident.’ The ruling follows two recent scares where the trigger for a brazil-nut allergy accidentally got into a genetically modified (GM) soya bean, and a suspected allergen was found in a brand of GM corn, StarLink.

_*New Scientist*_ No 2334