MP Owen Paterson (DEFRA) continues to enthuse about genetically modified crops despite the worldwide failure to test its long term impacts of eating GM food.
In the United States, where the government requires no independent testing and simply takes ‘on trust’ the findings of any tests done by GM companies, Monsanto’ s GM technology is widely used.
Americans have been the subjects of a giant experiment
Though short-term animal testing has revealed damage to the health of many of the animals used, no testing has been done anywhere in the world to look at the long term impacts of eating GM food during a human being’s lifetime. Americans have been eating GM foods for over twenty years during which time the incidence of heart disease, cancer, stroke and obesity has increased dramatically.
In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine stated: “GM foods pose a serious health risk”, calling for a moratorium on GM foods. Founded in 1965, the AAEM is an international association of physicians and professionals interested in the clinical aspects of humans and their environment.
Citing several animal studies, the AAEM concluded “there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects” and that “GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health.”
It called for:
- A moratorium on GM food, implementation of immediate long term safety testing and labeling of GM food.
- Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community and the public to avoid GM foods.
- Physicians to consider the role of GM foods in their patients’ disease processes.
- More independent long term scientific studies to begin gathering data to investigate the role of GM foods on human health.
“Multiple animal studies have shown that GM foods cause damage to various organ systems in the body. With this mounting evidence, it is imperative to have a moratorium on GM foods for the safety of our patients’ and the public’s health,” said Dr. Amy Dean, PR chair and Board Member of AAEM.
David Schubert, professor and head of the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute, has called for scientists to place their ethical responsibilities above corporate profits and cease their continual assault on the science relating to GM safety. The protection of scientists’ right to publish their findings without censorship or retribution must be preserved.
A former head of Biotechnology at Summerland Research Station, Professor Thierry Vrain was the scientist designated to address public groups and reassure them that genetically engineered crops and foods were safe. There is, however, a growing body of scientific research published in prestigious scientific journals, that questioned the impact and safety of engineered food, showing that diets containing engineered corn or soya cause serious health problems in laboratory mice and rats. He writes:
“The Bt corn and soya plants that are now everywhere in our environment are registered as insecticides. But are these insecticidal plants regulated and have their proteins been tested for safety? Not by the federal departments in charge of food safety, not in Canada and not in the U.S.
“There are no long-term feeding studies performed in these countries to demonstrate the claims that engineered corn and soya are safe. All we have are scientific studies out of Europe and Russia, showing that rats fed engineered food die prematurely. We should take these studies seriously and demand that government agencies replicate them rather than rely on studies paid for by the biotech companies.
As one correspondent says: the words of Judge H. Lee Sarokin in 1992 are ever more relevant:
“Who are these persons who knowingly and secretly decide to put the buying public at risk solely for the purpose of making profits and who believe that illness and death of consumers is an appropriate cost of their own prosperity?”