Tuesday, June 19, 2012

AMA to consider GM foods

AMA to consider genetically modified foods
By Emily P. Walker
MedPage Today
June 18, 2012

CHICAGO - The American Medical Association will consider adopting a position on genetically modified foods that would place the doctors’ group on both sides of the fence on the contentious issue.

On one hand, a report that will come up for a vote here Tuesday at the AMA’s policy-setting House of Delegates meeting would put the group on record as agreeing that there is no proven risk of bioengineered foods. But the same report calls for mandatory premarket safety approval of foods that come from plants or animals that have had their DNA tweaked.

During early debate on a report from the AMA’s Council on Science and Public Health on genetically modified foods, some delegates called for mandatory labeling of such foods, while others maintained there isn’t enough science to show bioengineered foods pose any risks to human health.

Meanwhile, protesters flanked the Chicago hotel where the meeting is being held, rallying against bioengineered foods.

[Read More…]

Hungary limits GMO crops

Hungary passes law limiting GMO crops
All About Feed
June 18, 2012

Last week Hungary’s parliament approved unanimously a new regulation that will restrict the genetically modified crops allowed in Hungary, which are currently authorised by the European Union. The ministry of rural development welcomed the law, which maximises chances of the country remaining GMO-free. The new regulations will place a strict limit on genetically modified crops in Hungary which are currently authorised by the European Union, as well as potential future GMOs, the ministry said. The law will enable farmers, local communities, local councils and regions to practice their autonomous rights more effectively while backing grassroots initiatives to establish GMO-free regions. It hands increased powers to controlling authorities over imports of unlicensed products, and firms up penalties if rules relating to licenced activities are transgressed, it added. The GMO ban will apply to public production but private growers will be allowed to experiment on plots as long as the surrounding environment is properly protected.

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…]

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sanders calls for labeling

Sanders calls for labeling genetically-engineered food
Press Release
Sen. Bernie Sanders office
June 14, 2012

WASHINGTON, June 14 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today proposed an amendment to the farm bill that would let states require that any food or beverage containing genetically-engineered ingredients be clearly labeled.

The Vermont Legislature earlier this year considered a bill that would have required labels on foods that contain genetically-engineered ingredients. The House Agriculture Committee heard testimony from 111 citizens and hundreds more crowded the Statehouse to show their support. Despite passing by a lopsided 9-1 vote in committee, the bill languished after Monsanto threatened to sue the state.

Similar strong-arm tactics by one of the world’s leading producers of genetically-engineered foods and herbicides have been employed elsewhere by Monsanto, the multi-national company that posted $1.6 billion in profits last year. “It’s no mystery why Monsanto would fight people’s right to know,” Sanders said “Business is booming for the chemical company. Clearly, they have a lot to protect.”

The Sanders Amendment, cosponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), acknowledges that states have the authority to require the labeling of foods produced through genetic engineering or derived from organisms that have been genetically engineered.

[Read More…]

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Failure over salmon

Conservation bodies alarm at US Senate failure over genetically engineered salmon
May 28, 2012

In a move that has alarmed a number of conservation bodies, the US senate failed at the end of last week to approve an amendment that could have stopped genetically engineered salmon from being available for human consumption in the United States.

In response to the proposed amendment Matt Tinning, Executive Director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, said: “Today, forty six Senators stood with our nation’s fishermen and seafood lovers and opposed the precipitous approval of Frankenfish.

[Read More…]

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