Mother fears modified soya: Letter

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is only in the last few weeks, now that genetically modified soya is on our doorsteps, that I have seen or heard any detailed discussion of this issue in the media ("The chicken and tomato problem", 21 October).

I cannot understand why, in view of the concern in the scientific world, no one has organised a campaign to persuade UK government departments and bulk buyers of soya products that they should insist that the American Soybean Association allow us to choose whether or not we eat this product and feed it to our children.

To many people, the question whether or not to eat genetically modified products is simply a lifestyle choice, but for some it has the potential to be a matter of life or death.

We are all aware of the potentially fatal anaphylactic response some people have to traces of nut but it is possible to react just as violently to other everyday foods such as cows' milk products, eggs and soya.

My young son has a severe allergy to all dairy products and eggs: his body identifies the offending protein as foreign and produces an excess of histamine. He develops a very distressing "nettle rash" and is violently sick. My son can tolerate existing soya protein but I am very concerned that his immune system may react to the protein in the modified soya.