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Safeway recalls its taco shells

Safeway recalls its taco shells

(CNN) -- Safeway, Inc. recalled its store brand taco shells Wednesday, after a consumer group said the product contained a genetically engineered corn product.

Genetically Engineered Food Alert, a coalition of seven groups which advocates testing and labeling genetically engineered food products, said a variety of corn called StarLink was detected in the taco shells sold by Safeway, one of the largest grocery chains in the United States.

Safeway spokeswoman Debra Lambert said the voluntary recall was taken as a precaution.

"Safeway does not have confirmed verification that StarLink" is present in its taco shells, she said, adding there was no evidence of adverse health affects.

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The company is also removing all Mission Foods, Inc. corn products, including taco shells, from its shelves. Mission manufactures the Safeway brand taco shells.

Safeway also operates stores under the names of Vons, Dominick's and Randalls/Tom Thumb.

Customers who purchased the shells should take them back to the store for a full refund.

In September, Kraft Corp. recalled 2 to 3 million boxes of Taco Bell brand taco shells, which were sold in grocery stores, after they were discovered to contain the same genetically altered corn product.

StarLink is approved for livestock feed but not for human consumption. It contains a protein the Environmental Protection Agency fears could provoke an allergic reaction in humans.

StarLink also contains a toxin which protects it from corn bores, which allows farmers to use fewer pesticides.

GEFA wants the government to test and regulate genetically engineered foods.

"We want the foods to also be labeled properly so consumers know what they're buying," said GEFA spokesman Matt Rand.



RELATED STORIES:
Taco shell recall yields renewed concern about genetically engineered foods
September 26, 2000
Taco Bell sees no need for recall
September 23, 2000
Study calls for more regulation, not labeling, of biotech crops
April 5, 2000
The good, the bad and the genetically engineered
January 13, 2000

RELATED SITES:
Welcome to Safeway
Mission Foods Foodservice
Kraft Foods, Inc. -- Recall notice
Food and Drug Administration Home Page
Biotechnology Industry Organization

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