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STATEMENT BY STEPHEN JOHNSON EPA DEPUTY ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR PESTICIDES REGARDING STARLINK CORN

At the strong urging of the Environmental Protection Agency, Aventis is announcing today that they are canceling the registration of StarLink corn. This means that Starlink corn can no longer be planted for any agricultural purpose. Today''s agreement will ensure that in the future no new StarLink corn will be grown and none will find its way into processed foods like taco shells.

The voluntary agreement represents far and away the fastest tool available to EPA for quickly removing StarLink corn from being planted for any agricultural uses. This action will ensure the full protection of public health and continued consumer confidence in the food supply.

EPA does not have any evidence that food containing StarLink corn will cause any allergic reaction in people, and the agency believes the risks, if any, are extremely low. However, because Aventis was responsible for ensuring that Starlink corn only be used in animal feed, and that responsibility clearly was not met, today''s action was necessary. The remaining StarLink corn must be used only for animal feed or industrial uses until existing stocks are depleted.

EPA commends both Kraft Food and Safeway for the quick response they have taken to remove from sale taco shells suspected in containing StarLink corn.