Genetic engineers document why GM foods are dangerous
By Ken Roseboro
Published: July 21, 2012
Category: Consumer Attitudes
A new report, “GMO Myths and Truths,” presents a large body of peer-reviewed scientific and other authoritative evidence of the hazards to health and the environment posed by genetically engineered crops and organisms.
Importantly, the initiative for the report came from two genetic engineers who believe there are good scientific reasons to be wary of GM foods and crops.
One of the report’s authors, Dr. Michael Antoniou of King’s College London School of Medicine in the UK, uses genetic engineering for medical applications but warns against its use in developing crops for human food and animal feed.
Dr. Antoniou said: “GM crops are promoted on the basis of ambitious claims—that they are safe to eat, environmentally beneficial, increase yields, reduce reliance on pesticides, and can help solve world hunger.
“Research studies show that genetically modified crops have harmful effects on laboratory animals in feeding trials and on the environment during cultivation. They have increased the use of pesticides and have failed to increase yields. Our report concludes that there are safer and more effective alternatives to meeting the world’s food needs.”
Another author of the report, Dr. John Fagan, is a former genetic engineer who in 1994 returned $614,000 in grant money to the National Institutes of Health due to concerns about the safety and ethics of the technology. He subsequently founded a GMO testing company.
Dr. Fagan said: “Crop genetic engineering as practiced today is a crude, imprecise, and outmoded technology. It can create unexpected toxins or allergens in foods and affect their nutritional value. Recent advances point to better ways of using our knowledge of genomics to improve food crops that do not involve GM.
“Over 75% of all GM crops are engineered to tolerate being sprayed with herbicide. This has led to the spread of herbicide-resistant superweeds and has resulted in massively increased exposure of farmers and communities to these toxic chemicals. Epidemiological studies suggest a link between herbicide use and birth defects and cancer.”
The report is available at: http://earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/58.
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