1. Are they safe?
At the moment this is a big question without a conclusive answer. When genes are altered by implanting foreign genes, and new or unknown proteins are created or the quality of existing proteins is altered, the outcome of consuming these new forms of protein is still unknown. No one really knows yet what the effects of consuming GM foods are as they have not yet been studied in humans. But there seems to be enough evidence to show that they do create nutritional problems, all sorts of new diseases, and antibiotic resistant diseases because they are potential toxins, allergens and carcinogens. My feeling is they need to be proven safe before I recommend them rather than wait for them to be proven harmful.
2. Hasn’t research shown GM foods to be safe?
There is no independent research on whether or not GMO’s are safe – seed companies have forbidden this. The only study done with humans revealed that GMO’s survived inside the stomach of people eating GMO food. No follow-up studies have been done. In animals, however, feeding studies have shown the potential for pre-cancerous cell growth, damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers and testicles, changes in liver density, strange shaped nuclei and other unexplained anomalies, false pregnancies and higher death rates. So one can only wonder about its safety for human consumption.
3. Haven’t people been eating GMO foods for a while now without ill effects?
Despite the biotech’s industry’s claims that there have been no ill effects, this is deceptive. No one monitors the effects of GM foods on human health so it may take years before its discovered as the cause of health problems in the US.
4. Hasn’t the FDA said GMO foods are safe?
Yes, but on what basis? They have approved GMO’s based on the concept of “substantial evidence” which means “if a new food is found to be substantially equivalent in composition and nutritional characteristics to an existing food, it can be regarded as safe as the conventional food.” This decision is not made by the FDA but by the biotech company manufacturing GMO’s. It’s a policy based on politics not science. Since the FDA does not require safety studies, the biotech industry’s claims that the FDA has given their safety stamp of approval. But this is simply not true! The FDA accepts the safety claims made by the makers of the GM foods and does not question them further.
To make things worse, the information provided to the FDA by these companies and industry research is often changed or distorted. Even when agency scientists tried to warn that there may be health issues related to GM foods and that long-term studies would be important, nothing was done to protect consumers. In fact, in some cases, whistle blowers have been harassed, demoted or even lost their jobs.
Political collusion and industry manipulation, not science is the primary motivator. The FDA official in charge dismissed all the claims and warnings by the staff FDA scientists. That official was a political appointee to a new FDA post specifically on GM policy who has subsequently left the agency and is now vice president of Monsanto…..mmmmm
Adapted from www.responsibletechnology.org.