Consumer and environmentalist groups from around the world have urged President George W. Bush to halt exports of US corn and food aid that may be contaminated with the banned biotech corn, StarLink.

A letter presented to Bush this week with over 100 signatories, including Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and other groups in Australia, Japan, Germany, India, Ghana, Bangladesh and Brazil, said the US should block further exports that may contain traces of StarLink corn.

“The United States should not be exporting genetically contaminated food to other countries,” said Ricardo Navarro, chairman of Friends of the Earth International. “If it is not approved for people to eat in the US then it should not be sent elsewhere.”

Environmentalists are also concerned that some US food aid to poor countries may include contaminated corn. US Agriculture Department officials deny this is the case.

The US Center for Disease Control is presently investigating some 48 reports of allergic reactions from consumers who believe their symptoms were linked to StarLink food products. The corn can be used in animal feed.