Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Growing fatter on a GM

Growing fatter on GM diet
By Arild S. Foss
July 17, 2012

Rats being fed genetically modified food eat more and grow fatter than those on a non-GM diet.

Since genetically modified (GM) food started to appear in shops in the early nineties, large quantities have been sold for human consumption – without any harmful effects, as far as we know. But is there a risk of a long-term impact?

An international research project is exploring the effects of GM food, studying the impact on rats, mice, pig and salmon. The wide-ranging study includes researchers from Hungary, Austria, Ireland, Turkey, Australia and Norway.

”We are trying to identify which indicators we need to measure in order to explore unintentional effects from GM food,” explains Professor Åshild Krogdahl of the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science.

”The findings could give us some understanding of the potential effects for these animal species as well as for humans.”

[Read More…]

Monday, July 16, 2012

Scientists win Gates grant

British GM crop scientists win $10M grant from Gates
July 15, 2012

A team of British plant scientists has won a $10m (£6.4m) grant from the Gates Foundation to develop GM cereal crops.

It is one of the largest single investments into GM in the UK and will be used to cultivate corn, wheat and rice that need little or no fertiliser.

It comes at a time when bio-tech researchers are trying to allay public fears over genetic modification.

The work at the John Innes Centre in Norwich is hoped to benefit African farmers who cannot afford fertiliser.

Agricultural fertiliser is important for crop production across the globe.

But the many of the poorest farmers cannot afford fertiliser - and it is responsible for large greenhouse gas emissions.

The John Innes Centre is trying to engineer cereal crops that could get nitrogen from the air - as peas and beans do - rather than needing chemical ammonia spread on fields.

If successful, it is hoped the project could revolutionise agriculture and, in particular, help struggling maize farmers in sub-Saharan Africa - something the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is keen to do.

[Read More…]

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…]

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