Wednesday, June 20, 2012

CU on AMA’s GE position

Consumers Union on AMA’s policy position on GE foods
By Consumers Union
Press Release
June 19, 2012

The American Medical Association (AMA) today adopted a new policy position in support of mandatory premarket systematic safety assessment for genetically engineered foods at its annual meeting in Chicago. Genetically engineered foods come from plants or animals that have been developed in a laboratory and had their genetic material altered in ways that do not occur in nature.

The AMA also said that priority should be given to basic research into food allergenicity to held identify potential allergens present in food as a result of genetic engineering, and into developing techniques to assess unintended effects of genetic engineering.

However, in spite of calling for mandatory premarket safety assessment of GE foods, AMA believes “there is no scientific basis for special labeling of genetically engineered foods.”

[Read More…]

AMA: Trust but verify

AMA: Trust but verify genetically modified foods
By Emily P. Walker
MedPage Today
June 19, 2012

CHICAGO — When it comes to genetically modified foods, the American Medical Association (AMA) has adopted a “trust but verify” policy: the foods seem safe, but they still need to be checked out.

The policy adopted Tuesday at the AMA’s House of Delegates meeting states that although there is no proven risk to foods coming from plants or animals whose DNA has been tweaked, the association would still like to see such foods go through a mandatory pre-market safety approval process.

This both-sides-of-the-fence position on the issue stemmed from a contentious Sunday debate during a reference committee meeting, at which some AMA members called for mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods, while others maintained there isn’t enough science to show such foods pose any risks to human health.

[Read More…]

Monday, June 18, 2012

Why GE food is dangerous

Why genetically engineered food is dangerous
Press release
Earth Open Source
June 17, 2012

LONDON, UK – Aren’t critics of genetically engineered food anti-science? Isn’t the debate over GMOs (genetically modified organisms) a spat between emotional but ignorant activists on one hand and rational GM-supporting scientists on the other?

A new report released today, “GMO Myths and Truths”,[1] challenges these claims. The report 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 (GMOs).

Unusually, the initiative for the report came not from campaigners but 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.

“I felt what was needed was a collation of the evidence that addresses the technology from a scientific point of view.

[Read More…]

Monday, April 9, 2012

E.P.A. denies ban

E.P.A. denies an environmental group’s request to ban a widely used weed killer
By Andrew Pollack
New York Times
April 9, 2012

The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday said that the widely used herbicide 2,4-D would remain on the market, denying a petition from an environmental group that sought to revoke the chemical’s approval.

The E.P.A. said that the environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, had not adequately shown that 2,4-D would be harmful under the conditions in which it is used.

“At best, N.R.D.C. is asking E.P.A. to take a revised look at the toxicity of 2,4-D,” the E.P.A. said in its decision, which was posted on its Web site.

“Yet the ground for tolerance revocation is a lack of safety.”

[Read More…]

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Human tests for GM wheat

Human tests for GM wheat
By Peter Hemphill
The Weekly Times
February 29, 2012

Flour made from genetically modified wheat and barley may be trialled on humans

The human testing will be done under a program approved by the Office of Gene Technology Regulator.

But first, the GM product would be trialled on animals to see if it improves bowel health.

The Gene Technology Regulator approved a licence application from the CSIRO to grow 2.3 hectares of GM wheat and barley in the ACT each year between May this year and June 2017.

The grain varieties have been genetically modified for “altered grain composition, nutrient utilisation efficient, disease resistance or stress tolerance”.

The GM grain would not be used for commercial human food or animal feed, the OGTR said in its notice of decision.

A GTR spokeswoman said a human research ethics committee would be required to review and approve the human nutrition trials.

The latest application is the 13th for GM wheat. The first was in 2004.

The OGTG licence approval comes as China moves to restrict research, production and trade in GM products.

According to a draft law released by China’s State Council, “research, experiments, production, sales, imports and exports of the seeds of genetically modified grain should meet relevant national regulations, and no institution or individual should apply genetic modification technology to main grain breeds without authorisation”.

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