Robert Cohen's letter of testimony has been made a part of
the official record at the World Trade Organization (WTO) &
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hearings.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT COHEN
Genetic engineering and food labeling issues continue to
make headline news throughout the world. Regulatory
agencies do their best to review scientific studies but
pharmaceutical companies quite agencies often have agendas
that reflect their bottom line and not the health and safety
In 1994, Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth
hormone (rbGH) was approved for use on dairy cows. In order
to dispel the controversy surrounding that approval process,
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a review of
scientific studies in the August 24, 1990 issue of the peer
review journal Science. In that review, the FDA authors
went to great lengths to demonstrate that the genetically
engineered version of the bovine growth hormone was
identical to the naturally occurring version. They cite
Jerome Moore and stated that if an amino acid in the middle
of a chain of a protein hormone differed from the naturally
occurring protein, there could be disastrous consequences.
In July of 1994, long after approval, Monsanto scientist,
Bernard Violand, published evidence (Journal of Protein
Science) revealing that Monsanto had created a "freak" amino
acid in the #144 position of the 191 amino acid chain of
bGH. Monsanto withheld that incriminating evidence from the
Consumers have a right to know if they are eating foods that
have been genetically engineered. Based upon that track
record, there are clear contra-indications that should be
taken seriously by WTO and USDA.
Labeling of foods should not be an option. It should be
every consumer's right to know.