No Consensus on GM Food Safety

B. McPherson
A group of 85 scientists, academics and physicians have issued a statement that there is no consensus on the safety of GM foods. This move was prompted by claims from some scientists and GM Corporations that the food is safe. The statements made by the supporters of the biotech food are not scientifically based.
Here is what one scientist had to say about the claims:
Another signatory, Professor C. Vyvyan Howard, a medically qualified toxicopathologist based at the University of Ulster, said: “A substantial number of studies suggest that GM crops and foods can be toxic or allergenic, and that they can have adverse impacts on beneficial and non-target organisms. It is often claimed that millions of Americans eat GM foods with no ill effects. But as the US has no GMO labelling and no epidemiological studies have been carried out, there is no way of knowing whether the rising rates of chronic diseases seen in that country have anything to do with GM food consumption or not. Therefore this claim has no scientific basis.” Earth Open Source
 The world food supply is gradually being infiltrated with genetically altered food like organisms. From corn to papayas to fish, the food supply is being subtly altered. Some countries have demanded that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) be banned from the grocery shelves, while others have embraced the technology. North America and Argentina are two that have over 90% of their commercially produced corn, soy and sugar beets as GMOs.

The first genetically altered field crop in N. America was corn resistant to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. Since then many other vegetable varieties have been altered to resist herbicides. Other genes have been inserted into plants as well -- bacterial genes to thwart chewing insects, fish genes to resist a frost, genes to prevent normal ripening and spoiling.

Over the past 40 years or so we have been repeatedly assured that the GMO food is safe to eat. It has been difficult to test the Roundup herbicide and the GM crops because they have patent protection.  People who have opposed the introduction of GM food crops have been labelled “wicked” and “criminal” be supporters of the genetic technology.

In September, troubling results from independent and peer reviewed French research into the effects of feeding GM corn and trace amounts of Roundup(glyphosate) to rats over a two year period. The results of the work have been published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicity. Research on the safety of newly manufactured food forms has traditionally only been 90 days long, usually done by scientists employed by the biotech corporations. Coupled with the FDA’s “generally regarded as safe” status, the GMOs have enjoyed an easy ride into our food hampers. The French scientists showed blood irregularities shortly after about three months in rats fed GM corn, also those fed only traces of glyphosate on non-GM corn were adversely affected. At the end of the two year study,the female rats had numerous gross mammary tumours while those fed corn that was not genetically altered or sprayed with glyphosate were healthy. Male rats did not exhibit the same level of large tumours.

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