Scientific evidence documenting the negative impacts of genetically modified (GM) foods on human and animal health and the environment.
GM foods and crops were virtually excluded from the European Union in the 1990s by scientific objections and consumer concerns. But now they are once again being strongly promoted in Europe by the biotechnology industry, putting our health and environment at risk.
Scientists' warnings proven correct
When GM crops and foods were first introduced in the 1990s, scientists raised concerns that genetic modification was imprecise and unpredictable. They warned:
• GM could create foods that are toxic, allergenic and less nutritious than their non-GM counterparts • GM crops could damage vulnerable wild plant and animal populations and harm biodiversity
• GM plants cannot be recalled, but as living organisms will multiply, passing any damaging traits from generation to generation
• GM crops could cause irreversible changes to our food supply, with serious effects on the environment and human and animal health.
All these concerns have since been proven correct. Nevertheless, the European Commission continues to approve GM crops for food and animal feed (more than 24 to date) and the GM industry continues to lobby to change GM regulations in its favour. As a result, European consumers are being exposed to the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) without their knowledge or consent.
What scientists say about GMOs:
"Only a fascist society would deny consumers the right to know what they eat and farmers the right to replant what they have grown"
Vananda Shiva, India.
"An ecosystem, you can always intervene and change something in it, but there's no way of knowing what all the downstream effects will be or how it might affect the environment. We have such a miserably poor understanding of how the organism develops from its DNA that I would be surprised if we don't get one rude shock after another."
Professor Richard Lewontin, professor of genetics, Harvard University.
"If you look at the simple principle of genetic modification it spells ecological disaster. There are no ways of quantifying the risks. The solution is simply to ban the use of genetic modification in food."
Dr Harash Narang, microbiologist and senior research associate at the University of Leeds, who originally pointed to the possible link between mad cow disease (BSE) and CJD in humans,
"With genetic engineering familiar foods could become metabolically dangerous or even toxic."
Statements on the dangers of GM by scientists. 21 scientists including the following, Professor Brian Goodwin, Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Professor Peter Saunders and Professor Richard Lacey.
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