New York (B)--Nearly 300 food products have been recalled following allegations they contained StarLink corn, a biotechnology product not approved for human consumption, The Wall Street Journal's interactive edition reported Nov. 2. The products are included on a list released by the Food and Drug Administration. The recall involves companies ranging from restaurants such as Wendy's and Applebee's to small food companies.
The list, which includes more than 70 types of taco chips, more than 80 taco shells and nearly 100 food products served in restaurants, is the first opportunity for consumers to see a comprehensive roster of products affected by the recall, the report said.
The products are made by Mission Foods of Irving, TX, which initiated the recall last month after tests by an anti-biotechnology group found StarLink corn in some of Mission's products, the report said.
The corn, made by French pharmaceuticals company Aventis SA, contains a protein that acts as a pesticide. It is supposed to be used only in animal feed or for industrial purposes because it may cause allergies in human beings.
Mission said it is not sure how much the recall will cost. It is telling consumers to take the products back to where they bought them for a refund or a replacement, the report said.
FDA officials have said they do not expect health problems if people eat the corn though it has received a few reports from people who believe they had allergic reactions after eating products that may have contained StarLink.
However, it has not confirmed any of them.
Many of the products on the list are already off the market, Mission spokesman Peter Pitts was quoted as saying.
Officials of Wendy's International Inc., Dublin, OH, and Applebee's International Inc., Overland Park, KS, said they immediately removed the taco chips in question from restaurants when the recall was announced.
Aventis is rushing to buy up this year's crop before it enters the food chain in order to prevent further recalls.
However, it might be years before every kernel of StarLink corn grown during the past three seasons is cleared from the system, the report said.