Saturday, January 14, 2012

"There Are, In Fact, No Data Comparing The Food Safety Profiles Of GM Versus Conventional Breeding"

In reply to the anonymous commenter in this post: Why We Should Be Testing Genetically Engineered Foods On Humans who presumed GMOs had undergone safety testing:
"There are, in fact, no data comparing the food safety profiles of GM versus conventional breeding, and the ubiquitous argument that since there is no evidence that GM products make people sick, they are safe is both illogical and false. There are, again, simply no data or even valid assays to support this contention.

Without proper epidemiological studies, most types of harm will not be detected, and no such studies have been conducted.

The necessity of labeling all GM products and particularly NEPs is therefore critical if there is any hope of monitoring adverse health consequences due to their consumption. For example, it would have been impossible to identify the source of the toxic tryptophan supplement if the product were not traceable through labeling."
- David Schubert, Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in "The Problem with Nutritionally Enhanced Plants", Journal of Medicinal Food, 2008
Whose job is it to safety test GMOs?
"Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job."
- Quote by Phil Angell, Monsanto's Director of Corporate Communications, in "Playing God In The Garden," by Michael Pollan, New York Times Magazine, 25 October 1998.
"Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety."
- FDA Federal Register, "Statement of Policy: Foods Derived From New Plant Varieties," 1992, a document, signed by David Kessler, which the FDA continued to reference, as recently as October 2008.


Angela and Melinda said...

So the farmers are supposed to ensure the safety of GM products they grow? That's ridiculous, if that's what they mean.

virginia said...

This is a comment on GM farming, in general, not specifically this post. Been meaning to scan the article and responses for you, but haven't...

The Sept '11 issue of
featured an interview with Stewart Brand, publisher of the Whole Earth Catalog. Responses to the interview filled three pages of the Dec 2011 issue. Here's a response excerpt:

"As a member of Practical Farmers of Iowa, I am disturbed by Stewart Brand's take on genetically engineered crops...All I have to do is look out my window to see the variety of weeds that have developed Roundup resistance in a few short years, even thought the crop-dusters have doused those fields several times this summer with chemicals that non-GMO plants do fine without...GMO crops are associated with long-term fundamental changes in soil and plants that are quit similar to the over-use of antibiotics in humans and other animals. How long will it take Monsanto and Farm Bureau to figure out that they soon will have no tools to fight pests with?..." A. G. Melbourne, Iowa

Bix said...

It's true! I think the folks who work in biotech know it. I think they are trying to make as much money as they can from their current technologies, regardless of what harm it does to the environment, before the fall-out becomes obvious.

But that's business, I guess. That's answering to shareholders. Many employee pensions and retirement funds likely invest in biotech, creating a weird situation of someone criticizing Monsanto on the one hand, and depending on them for their retirement on the other.

Angela and Melinda said...

I totally agree w/ you Bix, about corporatocracy and its character--no scruples whatsoever. I'm positive that they understand the ramifications of what they're doing. Ditto w/oil drilling & spills, fracking and reinjection of toxic wastewater from the process (so deep into the ground, almost 2 mi., that it's now causing earthquakes), and many other unscrupulous commercial ventures. THEY NEED MORE REGULATING, NOT LESS!!!!!!!!!