With genetically modified food infants health at risk

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Infant foods, Similac Alimentum and Similac Isomil, which are widely used for children with lactose intolerance, have been found to contain genetically modified foods, according to a study carried out by the Centre for Science and Environment.

Twenty-five percent of the samples imported from Netherlands and the US were found to be positive. There was no label to indicate they were GM positive.

Nutritionist Sujatha Stephen of Yashoda Hospitals said, “Infants who are exposed to genetically modified foods are at risk of childhood obesity and early metabolic problems. Children’s immunity is compromised when they are not breast-fed and putting them on substitutes adds to the risk. If these foods are GM positive, the risk for the child further increases. Infections are a major concern in children from one to five years of age. The focus is on nutritional food. If they are GM positive, the effect is negated.”

The study found imported foods like Kellogg’s Froot Loops, American Garden popcorn, Trix Corn Puffs, Mori-Nu-Tofu, Bugles, Karo and Aunt Jemima corn-based syrups were GM positive, as was PromPlus sweet whole kernel corn from Thailand.

Mr Amit Khurana from the food safety team at CSE said, “The risk assessment of GM positive foods has shown that there is toxicity, allergic reaction and change in composition of major and minor nutrients. More work is required to understand its specific impact on human health.”

Samples which were taken from India manufactured products did not test positive for GM.

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