GM Food But An Ongoing Experiment on Consumers

THIRD WORLD NETWORK BIOSAFETY INFORMATION SERVICE

Dear Friends and Colleagues

GM Food But An Ongoing Experiment on Consumers

The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) has released the third out of six reports under its GMO Inquiry 2015 Project. The latest report focuses on whether genetically modified food is better for consumers or not. The four GM crops grown in Canada – corn, canola, soy and white sugar beet – are all modified with one or both of two traits: herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. These appear in processed food such as corn flakes, corn/soy/canola oil, sugar, etc. while there are eggs, milk and meat from livestock fed on GM feed.

GM foods have been on grocery store shelves in Canada (and the US) without labels despite 20 years of polling that shows an overwhelming majority of Canadians want GM foods labelled. Without mandatory labelling, consumers remain without the tools to make a choice.

The report suggests that rather than asking “Are GM foods safe to eat?”, the immediate, more precise and answerable question is, “Are the GM foods we’re currently eating safe?"

Independent studies on human health questions are rare and long-term animal feeding tests rarer still. The studies that do exist indicate that some genetic modification could result in toxic effects, allergic responses or altered nutrition, clearly pointing to a need for further research. Moreover, there is no monitoring of GM foods, which means we do not know if the GM foods we have been eating have had any health impacts. In sum: "Releasing GMOs into our food system and environment remains an ongoing experiment still in need of testing and evaluation."

With best wishes

Third World Network
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Malaysia
Email: twn@twnetwork.org
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ARE GM CROPS BETTER FOR CONSUMERS?

Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
http://gmoinquiry.ca/consumers/
 

Summary

This third CBAN report tackles the questions that Canadian consumers are still asking, twenty years after the government approved the first genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for human consumption. GM foods have been allowed onto grocery store shelves in Canada (and the US) without labels, without meaningful public debate, without government testing, and without long-term animal feeding studies.

Although launched with many promises of benefits to consumers, two decades later GM foods on the market are not cheaper, tastier, fresher, more nutritious, or more environmentally-friendly.

In fact, the use of GM crops has increased rather than decreased the use of synthetic herbicides, with broad environmental and health consequences that are not being evaluated.

There is no mandatory labelling of GM foods in Canada (or the US), despite twenty years of polling that shows an overwhelming majority of Canadians want GM foods labelled. The latest poll, commissioned by CBAN in 2015, confirms that 88% of Canadians want mandatory labelling. In Canada, the public call for labelling was particularly intense leading up to the 2001 defeat of the mandatory labeling bill C-287. This report examines industry efforts to ensure that this bill was defeated, and the investments made by the federal government to reassure Canadians that GM foods are safe. Even after twenty years, the scientific literature on GM food safety is inconsistent and far from robust, leaving more questions than answers.

Independent studies on human health questions are rare and long-term animal feeding tests are rarer still. The studies that do exist indicate that some genetic modification could result in toxic effects, allergic responses, or altered nutrition, and clearly point to a need for further research. Moreover, there is no monitoring of GM foods which means we do not know if the foods we have been eating for the past twenty years have had any health impacts.

Globally, there is very little independent science on GM food safety questions, partly because governments are content to rely on corporate science to assess the safety of new GM foods. Barriers to conducting independent science include funding and access to GM seeds for testing. The high stakes involved in commercializing new GM products have added to an environment that is hostile to critique, from the public and even from within the scientific community.

The potential risks from eating GM foods have not been fully investigated and there is no scientific basis to conclude that GM foods are safe.

Releasing GMOs into our food system and environment remains an ongoing experiment, still in need of testing and evaluation.

GM Food But An Ongoing Experiment on Consumers

ARE GM CROPS BETTER FOR CONSUMERS?

Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
http://gmoinquiry.ca/consumers/
 

Summary

This third CBAN report tackles the questions that Canadian consumers are still asking, twenty years after the government approved the first genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for human consumption. GM foods have been allowed onto grocery store shelves in Canada (and the US) without labels, without meaningful public debate, without government testing, and without long-term animal feeding studies.

Although launched with many promises of benefits to consumers, two decades later GM foods on the market are not cheaper, tastier, fresher, more nutritious, or more environmentally-friendly.

In fact, the use of GM crops has increased rather than decreased the use of synthetic herbicides, with broad environmental and health consequences that are not being evaluated.

There is no mandatory labelling of GM foods in Canada (or the US), despite twenty years of polling that shows an overwhelming majority of Canadians want GM foods labelled. The latest poll, commissioned by CBAN in 2015, confirms that 88% of Canadians want mandatory labelling. In Canada, the public call for labelling was particularly intense leading up to the 2001 defeat of the mandatory labeling bill C-287. This report examines industry efforts to ensure that this bill was defeated, and the investments made by the federal government to reassure Canadians that GM foods are safe. Even after twenty years, the scientific literature on GM food safety is inconsistent and far from robust, leaving more questions than answers.

Independent studies on human health questions are rare and long-term animal feeding tests are rarer still. The studies that do exist indicate that some genetic modification could result in toxic effects, allergic responses, or altered nutrition, and clearly point to a need for further research. Moreover, there is no monitoring of GM foods which means we do not know if the foods we have been eating for the past twenty years have had any health impacts.

Globally, there is very little independent science on GM food safety questions, partly because governments are content to rely on corporate science to assess the safety of new GM foods. Barriers to conducting independent science include funding and access to GM seeds for testing. The high stakes involved in commercializing new GM products have added to an environment that is hostile to critique, from the public and even from within the scientific community.

The potential risks from eating GM foods have not been fully investigated and there is no scientific basis to conclude that GM foods are safe.

Releasing GMOs into our food system and environment remains an ongoing experiment, still in need of testing and evaluation.

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