Press Release: abc stresses overwhelming weight of evidence on safety of GM crops 22/10/13

abc stresses overwhelming weight of evidence on safety of GM crops

Commenting on claims by anti-GM campaign group the ENSSER on the safety of genetically modified organisms, Dr Julian Little, abc Chair said:

“Biotech crops are among the most extensively tested foods in the history of food safety. In 2010, the European Commission concluded on the basis of 130 research projects involving 500 independent groups over 25 years that 'there is, as of today, no scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants and organisms (1). This year, the representative body of the national science academies of the EU Member states agreed, saying that “there is no validated evidence that GM crops have greater adverse impact on health and the environment” than any other crops produced using plant breeding techniques (2).

“An estimated 3 trillion meals containing GM ingredients have been eaten around the world over the last 13 years without a single substantiated case of ill-health. The World Health Organisation has said that: ‘No effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved’ (3).

“This is backed up by government regulators around the world, including the UK FSA, who have a responsibility to protect customers and the environment. The scientists at these independent organisations express confidence that reliable assessments of GM crop safety can be made and that the GM crops available to date are just as safe as conventional plants and foods.
“The overwhelming weight of evidence therefore points to the safety of these crops.”


Notes:
1. “A decade of EU-funded GMO research”, European Commission, http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-10-1688_en.htm


2. “Planting the future: opportunities and challenges for using crop genetic improvement technologies for sustainable agriculture”, European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), http://www.easac.eu/home/reports-and-statements/detail-view/article/planting-the.html 


3. “20 questions on genetically modified foods”, World Health Organisation, http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/


Please also see the following websites of independent regulators for their scientific opinions on the safety of GM crops:

  • UK Food Standards Agency - http://www.food.gov.uk/gmfoods/
  • European Food safety Authority (EFSA) - http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/faqs/faqgmo.htm
  • Food Standards Australia New Zealand - http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumerinformation/gmfoods/
  • Health Canada - http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/gmf-agm/index-eng.php
  • USA Food and Drug Administration - http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/Biotechnology/ucm346030.htm
  • Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare - http://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/topics/foodsafety/dna/01.html
Download the full press release