September 19, 2013

GMO Safety

On the issue of safety, there is broad scientific consensus that GMO technology is as safe as conventional techniques. There are those who stoke fears by exaggerating dubious science or suggesting conspiracy but this is unfounded.

Don’t take our word for it though, see for yourself:

GLP Infographic: International science organizations on crop biotech safety
“Every major scientific body and regulatory agency in the world has reviewed the research about GMOs and openly declared crop biotechnology and the foods currently available for sale to be safe.” [GRAPHIC]
-Genetic Literacy Project

Is GM food safe?
“If an overwhelming majority of experts say something is true then any sensible non-expert should assume that they are probably right.” [GRAPHIC]
-Axis Mundi

Is GM Food Safe? Experts Around the Globe Answer
“If I were still anti-GMO and I read this list, I am convinced I would take pause and think something like this: they can’t all be in Monsanto’s back pocket, nor can they all be wrong.”
-Sleuth 4 Health

20 points of broad scientific consensus on GE crops
“Just as many on the political right discount the broad scientific consensus that human activities contribute to global warning, many progressive advocacy groups disregard, reject, or ignore the decades of scientific studies demonstrating the safety and wide-reaching benefits of GE crops. Is political identity more important than science and the environment?”
-Pamela Ronald

GENERA – GENetic Engineering Risk Atlas at Biology Fortified, Inc.
“One of the biggest challenges of accurately communicating scientific information about a controversial topic is making that information readily accessible to the public. On the topic of agricultural biotechnology, public perception is that there is little independent research on risks, yet the scientific literature is replete with studies addressing those very questions. There are several barriers to making this information accessible to the public, and we believe that this project can help address these issues.”
-Biofortified, Inc

An overview of the last 10 years of genetically engineered crop safety research, Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, Informa Healthcare
“The technology to produce genetically engineered (GE) plants is celebrating its 30th anniversary and one of the major achievements has been the development of GE crops. The safety of GE crops is crucial for their adoption and has been the object of intense research work often ignored in the public debate. We have reviewed the scientific literature on GE crop safety during the last 10 years, built a classified and manageable list of scientific papers, and analyzed the distribution and composition of the published literature. We selected original research papers, reviews, relevant opinions and reports addressing all the major issues that emerged in the debate on GE crops, trying to catch the scientific consensus that has matured since GE plants became widely cultivated worldwide. The scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of GE crops; however, the debate is still intense. An improvement in the efficacy of scientific communication could have a significant impact on the future of agricultural GE. Our collection of scientific records is available to researchers, communicators and teachers at all levels to help create an informed, balanced public perception on the important issue of GE use in agriculture.”
-Alessandro Nicolia, Alberto Manzo, Fabio Veronesi, and Daniele Rosellini

With 2000+ global studies confirming safety, GM foods among most analyzed subject in science
“In short, genetically modified foods are among the most extensively studied scientific subjects in history. This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of GM technology, and the paper’s conclusion is unequivocal: there is no credible evidence that GMOs pose any unique threat to the environment or the public’s health. The reason for the public’s distrust of GMOs lies in psychology, politics and false debates.”
-Genetic Literacy Project

Q&A – The Lowdown on GMOs with a Scientist
“If my lab had a slight hint that GMOs were dangerous, I’d do my best to repeat that study, get a collaborator to repeat it independently, and then publish the data on the covers of Science, Nature and every news outlet that would take it. It would rock the world. Showing that 70-some percent of our food was poisonous? That would be a HUGE story — we’re talking Nobel Prize and free Amy’s Organic Pot Pies for life! Finding the rule breakers is what we’re in it for, but to break rules takes massive, rigorous data. So far, we don’t even have a good thread of evidence to start with.”
-Kevin Folta interviewed by Fourat Janabi

Open access to two new critical reviews about toxicity testing for GM crop safety | GMO Pundit a.k.a. David Tribe
“In general, food crops such as maize, soy, rice, canola etc. are subjected to a variety of processing conditions to generate different food products. Processing conditions such as cooking, modification of pH conditions, and mechanical shearing can often denature proteins in these crops resulting in a loss of functional activity. These same processing conditions can also markedly lower human dietary exposure to (functionally active) proteins. Safety testing of an introduced protein could be indicated if its biological function was not adequately characterized and/or it was shown to be structurally/functionally related to proteins that are known to be toxic to mammals.”
“Predictions of safety based on crop genetics and compositional analyses have provided complete concordance with the results of well-conducted animal testing. However, this concordance is primarily due to the improbability of de novo generation of toxic substances in crop plants using genetic engineering practices and due to the weakness of WF toxicity studies in general. Thus, based on the comparative robustness and reliability of compositional and agronomic considerations and on the absence of any scientific basis for a significant potential for de novo generation of toxicologically significant compositional alterations as a sole result of transgene insertion, the conclusion of this review is that WF animal toxicity studies are unnecessary and scientifically unjustifiable.”

About Those Industry Funded GMO Studies… | Biology Fortified Inc.
“Complaints about industry funded studies show an ignorance of the literature and may indicate a lazy desire to dismiss inconvenient evidence in order to preserve predetermined ideological commitments. It’s plain old confirmation bias and motivated reasoning run amok.”

Richard Green on the Scientific Consensus and GMOs | Nodes of Science
“The information on a scientific consensus is easy enough to find, but for the topic of GMOs it is in multiple places, and more often than not, misinformation comes up first on Internet searches. So I thought I’d assemble the data I’ve found useful in one easy to reference location.”

Climate change vs. GMOs: Comparing the independent global scientific consensus | Genetic Literacy Project
“On any contentious issue like GMOs, reaching agreement requires finding sources that all parties trust. This is an attempt to locate that common ground.”

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