Technology assessment
Principles and Approaches Genetic interactions in ecosystems are more dynamic and complex than acknowledged so far. Genetic change and genetic exchange phenomena seem to occur more frequently in nature than in laboratories, and may be regulated by unknown environmental factors. Local environmental conditions and chemical contaminants (pesticides and other xenobiotics), that will undoubtedly vary in concentrations and combinations between different locations are examples of such environmental factors. These may have impacts on the extent of horizontal gene transfer, and on how modified genes are expressed and affect the recipient organisms. Consequently, it is important to establish model systems in the laboratory, which mimic the ecological interactions and complexity of the real world.
Basis for risk assessment and management:
Risk and probability are not the same. Risk can be defined as the probability of an occurrence of an incident or phenomenon, multiplied by the consequences arising therefrom, if it occurs. At this moment we know little about both probability and consequences in relation to putative health and environmental effects of many genetic engineering applications.
Horizontal gene transfer: Horizontal gene transfer signifies a non-sexual transmission of genetic information within or between species. The phenomenon is common in nature, but our knowledge concerning ecological processes promoting such events and barriers prohibiting them is scanty.
Socio-economic considerations: The impact of genetically modified organisms goes beyond ecological and health dimensions. They have profound impact on society, including livelihoods, production systems, trade, culture and ethics.

US EPA Ignored Substantial Scientific Evidence of Glyphosate’s Genotoxicity

This journal article shows that the US EPA disregarded substantial scientific evidence about glyphosate’s genotoxicity and supports the conclusions of the WHO-IARC that glyphosate is both genotoxic and probably carcinogenic to humans. […]

The Need for Better Risk Governance of Gene-Edited Products

This paper identifies the challenges posed by new and emerging gene-editing techniques, as well as recommends improvements to GM risk governance research and practice. […]

Glyphosate and Bt Proteins Toxic to Stingless Bees

A study has found that two Bt proteins and the herbicide glyphosate are highly toxic to the stingless bee, causing lethal or sublethal effects which can severely impair colony growth and viability, and reduce pollination ability. […]

The Impact of Glyphosate on Soil Health

This report reviews studies of the impact of glyphosate to soil health and finds evidence of harm to soil fauna such as microbes, fungi and earthworms, along with risks of pollution of water bodies. […]

Biosafety Protocol agrees important work on risk assessment of GMOs

Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety have adopted a decision that puts its important risk assessment work firmly back on track, after previous setbacks […]

Glyphosate Shown to Increase Honeybee Susceptibility to Infections

A new study has shown that glyphosate, widely used with GM herbicide-resistant crops, damages the good bacteria in honeybee guts, making them more prone to deadly infections. […]

Glyphosate-Resistant Plants Show High Potential for Environmental Spread

Research has revealed that where there is gene flow from GE glyphosate-resistant plants into natural populations, the offspring may have increased fitness to spread into the environment. […]

Adverse Effects on the Stomachs of Rats Fed with GM Corn

A recent feeding study has found adverse effects of a GM corn diet on the stomach lining of rats, which may have health implications. […]

Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289m as Jury Rules Glyphosate-based Herbicide Caused Man’s Cancer

Monsanto suffered a major blow with a jury ruling that the company was liable for a terminally ill man’s cancer, awarding him $289m in damages. […]

Global Glyphosate Pilot Study Shows Health Effects at ‘Safe’ Doses

A global pilot study on the health effects of glyphosate-based herbicides has shown disrupting effects on sexual development, genes and beneficial gut bacteria at doses considered safe by the US-EPA. […]