The case against genetically-engineered food crops grows stronger

While agricultural biotechnology corporations such as Monsanto continue to tout the benefits of genetically engineered food crops, scientific evidence is finally and perhaps irrefutably coming to light as to the harm it presents.

A report released last month – GMO Myths and Truths – offers a peer-reviewed body of scientific and other authoritative evidence of the hazards to health and the environment posed by genetically modified crops and organisms. The report came from two respected genetic engineers who strongly caution against the use of GM food 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.

Another author of the report is Dr. John Fagan, a former genetic engineer who in 1994 returned to the National Institutes of Health $614,000 in grant money due to concerns about the safety and ethics of the technology. Dr. Fagan then went on to found a GMO testing company.

“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,” said Dr. Antoniou. “

“Research studies show that genetically modified crops have harmful effects on laboratory animals in feeding trials and on the environment during cultivation,” Antoniou said. “They have increased the use of pesticides and have failed to increase yields. Our report concludes that there are safer and more effective alternatives to meeting the world’s food needs.

“Crop genetic engineering as practiced today is a crude, imprecise and outmoded technology,” said Dr. Fagan. “It can create unexpected toxins or allergens in foods and affect their nutritional value. Recent advances point to better ways of using our knowledge of genomics to improve food crops, that do not involve GM.”

Eoidemiological studies suggest a link between herbicide use and birth defects and cancer. These findings fundamentally challenge the utility and safety of GM crops, but the biotech industry uses its influence to block research by independent scientists and uses its powerful PR machine to discredit independent scientists whose findings challenge this approach.”

The report’s third author, Claire Robinson, research director of Earth Open Source, said, “The GM industry is trying to change our food supply in far-reaching and potentially dangerous ways. We all need to inform ourselves about what is going on and ensure that we — not biotechnology companies — keep control of our food system and crop seeds.”

The report takes on the myths and claims made about GM crops and lays them bare with scientific facts – one by one – in clear, surprisingly readable language we laymen can plough through.  Though lengthy, for those wanting to get a real understanding of the issues and real facts, it’s worth looking through.

Being an educated consumer has become a critical factor to living a balanced and healthy life. This report helps separate the facts from the hype.

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