GM Food Nightmare Unfolding in the Regulatory Sham


Richard Moore

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ISIS Press Release 09/03/07
GM Food Nightmare Unfolding in the Regulatory Sham

Regulator agencies like the European Food Safety Authority and the UK Food 
Standards Agency have been ignoring the precautionary principle, manipulating 
and corrupting science, sidestepping the law, and helping to promote GMOs in the
face of massive public opposition and damning evidence piling up against the 
safety of GM food and feed

These charges are made in a devastating report [1] ( GM Food Nightmare Unfolding
and the Regulatory Sham ) released today by the Institute of Science in 
Society*. The report has been submitted to the European Food Standards Agency, 
the World Health Organisation/ Food and Agriculture Organisation Expert 
Consultation on GM Food Animals, and the UK Food Standards Agency, and it has 
been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

The 19-page report contains more than 130 references. It draws together evidence
from all over the world indicating that GM fo od and feed may be inherently 
hazardous to health, regardless of the plant species or the genetic modification
involved. For example,

€ Female rats fed Roundup Ready soybeans gave birth to many severely stunted 
pups, with over half of the litter dead by three weeks, and the surviving pups 
were sterile; Roundup Ready soya has been approved worldwide for food and feed 
since 1996

€ Farmers and workers exposed to Bt cotton and Bt maize have suffered serious 
allergy-like symptoms

€ Livestock feeding on Bt crops and crop residues became ill and died in large 

³The evidence has stacked up to such an extent that our regulators should be 
answering a charge of criminal negligence at the very least in failing to ban GM
crop and continuing with their campaign of denial and disinformation, and worse,
helping to promote even more dangerous GM produce from the industry,² said Dr. 
Mae-Wan Ho. Dr Ho is the director of ISIS and lead author of the report 
co-authored with Joe Cummins , e meritus Professor of Biology at the University 
of Western Ontario, Canada, and Peter Saunders, emeritus Professor of 
Mathematics at King's College, London University.

That Bt toxins can cause serious immune reactions was known long before they 
were widely incorporated into maize and cotton crops. Similarly, evidence that 
pieces of genetically modified (GM) DNA can be taken up and incorporated into 
the genomes of other cells ­ a process called horizontal gene transfer - has 
been steadily accumulating since the mid 1990s, when the ISIS scientists first 
sounded their warning to the regulators.

³GM DNAs often contain antibiotic resistance marker genes and other genes from 
bacteria and viruses that cause diseases. In addition, they have strong control 
signals - Œpromoters' - that force the cell to express a foreign gene at high 
levels,² Dr. Mae-Wan Ho explains. ³As a result, horizontal gene transfer not 
only spreads antibiotic resistance genes to harmful bacteria, it can create new 
bacteria and viruses that can cause epidemics. And if the strong promoter jumps 
into the wrong place in the genome of animal cells, it can boost the expression 
of oncogenes and cause the cells to multiply out of control, or cancer by 
another name.²

Europe and the UK are required by law to abide by the precautionary principle. 
Both have signed up to the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety regulating GMOs, and 
a string of other international treaties for protecting health and the 
environment based on the precautionary principle. But systematic manipulation of
scientific evidence and abuse of science by the regulatory authorities has meant
that the precautionary principle is never invoked.

³GM food/feed looks like joining asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 
BSE, tobacco and many others as yet another example of the government relying on
bad scientific advice and ignoring the precautionary principle, with devastating
consequences,² said Prof. Peter Saunders.

In three recent cases, American courts have ruled that the US Department of 
Agriculture failed to carry out proper environmental impact assessment before 
giving approval for releases of GM crops to the environment, and that the 
releases are therefore illegal.

³Regulation of genetically modified food crops in North America is a complete 
sham. It's time for a shake up. The regulatory agencies must represent the law 
and the people not just corporate interests,² said Prof. Joe Cummins

For further information:

*The Institute of Science in Society is a UK London-based not-for-profit 
organisation dedicated to providing critical public information on cutting edge 
science, and to promoting social accountability and ecological sustainability in


1.. Ho MW, Cummins J and Saunders PT. GM Food Nightmare Unfolding in the 
Regulatory Sham, ISIS Report, March 2007.

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