A recent report by the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility blew a huge hole in claims that the safety of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) foods was considered to be “settled science”. The report also exposed as fraudulent claims that there is “scientific consensus” on the safety of GMO foods. The report, called  No Scientific Consensus on GMO safety reveals that the scientific community is deeply divided over the issue of GMO safety for health and the environment.

Update: 04 November 2013 – 230 Scientists have signed the report “No Consensus on GMO Safety”

GMO Foods to avoid infographic

These are the most common GMO foods

The report cited the following concerns with GMO Foods

  • There is no consensus on GM food safety

  • There are no epidemiological studies investigating potential effects of GM food consumption on human health

  • Claims that scientific and governmental bodies endorse GMO safety are exaggerated or inaccurate

  • EU research project does not provide reliable evidence of GM food safety

  • List of several hundred studies does not show GM food safety

  • There is no consensus on the environmental risks of GM crops

  • International agreements show widespread recognition of risks posed by GM foods and crops

No Scientific Consensus on GMO safety was signed by 92 scientists in the fields of food safety, health and environmental safety. According to the scientists that signed the report:

As scientists, physicians, academics, and experts from disciplines relevant to the scientific, legal, social and safety assessment aspects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we strongly reject claims by GM seed developers and some scientists, commentators, and journalists that there is a “scientific consensus” on GMO safety and that the debate on this topic is “over”

No Scientific Consensus on GMO Safety

GMO manufacturers like Monsanto Corporation claim that the overwhelming majority of scientific research on GMOs shows that they are safe for human and animal consumption. But the report No Scientific Consensus on GMO safety reveals that roughly half of the scientific papers on GMO safety reveal potentially serious health risks. The report also reveals that many of the scientific papers that suggest GMOs are safe come from GMO companies like Monsanto, and scientists funded by them. The report reveals that many scientists are concerned that  the false sense of safety promoted by GMO advocates may lull the public into a false sense of security over the safety of GMO Foods.

The report raised an alarm over a number of animal studies that showed that GMO foods caused “significant changes”. A Decade of EU-Funded GMO Research also revealed that adequate testing against animals fed with conventional food has not been conducted.

Bottom Line: GMO foods have NOT been proven safe, and there are animal studies that show that GMO foods may cause unintended mutations or other health and disease risks.

No Epidemiological Studies have Investigated the Potential Effects of GMO Food

An epidemiological study examines how, when, and where diseases occur populations of humans or other animals. According to the report, GMO advocates claim that “trillions of GM meals” have been eaten in the US with no ill effects.” However, the lack of epidemiological studies on GMO foods makes it impossible to say if there have been any ill  health effects in the US from eating GMOs. In fact, as a whole, the Health of the American Population is terrible, with surging epidemics of obesity, heart trouble and diabetes.

The report reveals that performing epidemiological studies on effects of GMO foods on the American population is impossible:

GM foods are not labelled in North America, a major producer and consumer of GM crops, it is scientifically impossible to trace, let alone study, patterns of consumption and their impacts. Therefore, claims that GM foods are safe for human health based on the experience of North American populations have no scientific basis.

Bottom Line: No studies have ever been conducted that prove that GMO foods are as safe as conventional foods.

Claims that scientific and governmental bodies endorse GMO safety are exaggerated or inaccurate

The report shows that the claim that there is consensus between scientific and governmental organizations is flat-out false. In fact, a panel of experts from the Royal Society of Canada issued a highly critical report on the regulatory system for GM foods in Canada. The report states that it is “scientifically unjustifiable” to presume that GM foods are safe unless rigorous scientific testing conducted. The report also concludes that scientists should assume that the introduction of a new gene (in GMO food) will cause “unanticipated changes” in the expression of other genes.

Bottom Line: GMO Foods should not be assumed to be safe to eat! There is not sufficient evidence to support that assumption!

EU research project does not provide reliable evidence of GM food safety

GMO advocates cite a European Union (EU) report called: “A Decade of EU-Funded GMO Research” as providing evidence of GMO food and crop safety. But that research project did not test the safety of GM food. The project was intended to develop “safety assessment approaches”. In other words, the project was intended to develop ways to test GMO safety, not to test actual GMOs.

In fact, the research project cites four studies that show “significant changes” in animals that were fed GMO food. In some cases, these changes were “statistically significant” – which evidence that GMO foods may actually cause mutations and other changes in animals.

Bottom Line: The research project A Decade of EU-Funded GMO Research does not provide any evidence of GMO safety. It only proposes methods to test GMO safety.

List of several hundred studies does not show GM food safety

GMO advocates claim that there are hundreds of studies that show GMO foods are safe to eat. However, a close examination of the studies that GMO advocates cite as proof that GMOs are safe shows that some of those studies actually show that GMOs are not safe. For example:

  • Many of the studies cited aren’t  of the type that can provide useful information about health effects of GM food consumption. Most of those studies look at things like animal weight gain and milk yield, but do not report on the health of the animals in the study.

  • A substantial number of the reports cited by GMO advocates actually found toxic effects and signs of toxicity in GM-fed animals.

  • The concerns raised by studies showing toxic effects from GMOs have not been satisfactorily addressed with follow up research.

  • Many of the studies were only conducted over a short period of time. These studies are not adequate to assess the long-term health effects of GMOs

In fact, the report No Scientific Consensus on GMO safety concludes that the studies, cited by GMO advocates are misrepresented, and they do not “document the general safety and nutritional wholesomeness of GM foods and feeds”. The report further concludes that some of the studies show serious cause for concern, and they should be followed up by more detailed long-term studies on GMO safety.

Bottom Line: Claims that there are “hundreds” of studies that show GMOs are safe are false. Long term studies on GMO safety need to be conducted.

There is no consensus on the environmental risks of GM crops

Some GMOs produce a bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis which kills insects. These GMOs are called Bt insecticidal crops. Others are designed to be tolerant to higher doses of herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup. GMO advocates claim that there are “little or no” adverse effects on the environment from these GMOs.

But there is no scientific consensus that these GMO crops are safe for the environment. Some studies on how GMOs affect the environment actually show that there are “adverse effects on non-target and beneficial organisms.” In other words, GMO crops are actually harming and killing innocent and/or beneficial organisms.

Some of these GMO crops have been shown to increase the use of pesticides that pose risks to the environment. Still other studies show that some GMO crops cause pesticide-resistant “super -bugs”, and or herbicide-resistant “super-weeds” . SOme of these reports show that GMO crops actually do pose significant risks to the environment.

Bottom Line: There is no consensus that GMO crops are safe for the environment. There are some studies that show that GMOs actually cause significant harm to the environment.

International agreements show widespread recognition of risks posed by GM foods and crops

An international agreement, ratified in 2003 called “The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety” was written to “protect biological diversity from the risks posed by GM technology.” It established what is called “The Precautionary Principle” which allows nations to “protect themselves against threats of damage from GM crops and foods, even in case of a lack of scientific certainty.”

The UN’s Codex Alimentarius – a body of experts dedicated to food safety – developed guidelines for the assessment of risks posed by GM food and crops. These guidelines embody the Precautionary Principle outlined in the Cartagena Protocol, but are largely ignored by major GMO food producers like the United States.

Bottom Line: Guidelines meant to assure public and environmental safety are largely ignored by GMO producing nations like the US.

How to avoid GMO Foods

If you are about concerned about the safety of GMO foods, and choose to avoid them, here are some helpful guidelines:

  • Read the Barcode: If it has 5 digits, beginning with the number 8, then it contains GMOs

  • Buy USDA Certified Organic: It is against the law for certified organic foods to contain GMOs

  • Get the Buycott App: buycott.com for iPhone or Android. Sign up for the No GMO campaign on the app. It will tell you if the food product you are looking at contains GMOs

  • Eat at Chipotle: Chipotle labels all their food to inform consumers if it is GMO or non-GMO. You can choose non-GMO foods from their menu

  • Grow it yourself: Growing your own food is good for relieving stress, and a very rewarding experience

Bonus Tip: If you are concerned about toxic pesticide residues on your produce, simply soak them in alkaline water from a water ionizer. Most pesticides are acidic, and they are neutralized by alkaline water (regular tap water doesn’t neutralize pesticides. For best results, soak for 20 – 30 minutes.

Do you need more information on how to eat healthy, or on the health benefits of alkaline water? Call us today at 877 959-7977 for a personalized health consultation.

 

Reference

European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility. No Scientific Consensus on GMO safety. Retreived 22 Oct 2013 from http://sustainablepulse.com/wp-content/uploads/ENSSER_Statement_no_scientific_consensus_on_GMO_safety_ENG_LV.pdf


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