HIGHTOWER: Reformulating Nestle

My momma use to tell me: "Don't put anything in your mouth unless you know where it came from."

Good advice, yet many mothers today are unwittingly putting something in the mouths of their babies without realizing where it comes from.  The something is infant formula made by Nestle Inc., which markets its formula under such brand names as Alsoy, Good Start, and Follow-up.  Mothers know from reading the package that these baby formulas are made from soybeans.  What Nestle doesn't tell mothers, however, is that these are not nature's own soybeans, but ones that have been genetically engineered.

Moms might want to know this, since such biotech manipulation of the genetic make-up of soybeans has not been tested for its longterm impact on human health, nor is their a medical monitoring program in place to detect health problems that might derive from consuming Nestle's Frankenfoods.  Infants are especially vulnerable, for their bodies are so tiny and their only source of nutrition might be this genetically altered formula.  Yet, Nestle has fought every effort to require labeling to inform American mothers, so they can decide for themselves whether they want to put this stuff in their babies' mouths.

In Germany, however, where there's been a widespread campaign against genetic tampering with the food supply, Nestle agreed back in 1996 to quit using genetically engineered ingredients in the baby food products it sells there.  Why not do the same here?  A corporate official airily dismisses this notion, declaring in convoluted corporate -speak that Nestle is "providing our consumers in each market with the products they want and with the information they need."  Earth to Nestle:  If you don't provide the information, how do you know we want the product?

This is Jim Hightower saying ... A citizen's action group called ecopledge.com has launched a campaign calling on Nestle to stop messing with our babies.


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