GMO Myths & Truths: an evidence-based examination

2012-10-14

Richard Moore

Bcc: FYI
rkm websitehttp://cyberjournal.org
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This is a 123-page scientific report on GMO crops, sent to me by Stephanie McDowall:

About the authors

Michael Antoniou, PhD is reader in molecular genetics and head, Gene Expression and Therapy Group, King’s College London School of Medicine, London, UK. He has 28 years’ experience in the use of genetic engineering technology investigating gene organisation and control, with over 40 peer reviewed publications of original work, and holds inventor status on a number of gene expression biotechnology patents.  etc. etc.

Claire Robinson, MPhil, is research director at Earth Open Source. She has a background in investigative reporting and the communication of topics relating to public health, science and policy, and the environment. She is an editor at GMWatch (www.gmwatch.org), a public information service on issues relating to genetic modification, and was formerly managing editor at SpinProfiles (now Powerbase.org).

John Fagan, PhD is a leading authority on sustainability in the food system, biosafety, and GMO testing. He is founder and chief scientific officer of one of the world’s first GMO testing and certification companies, through which he has pioneered the development of innovative tools to verify and advance food purity, safety and sustainability. He co-founded Earth Open Source, which uses open source collaboration to advance sustainable food production. Earlier, he conducted cancer research at the US National Institutes of Health. He holds a PhD ……..


Here’s the Executive Summary from the report:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Genetically modified (GM) crops are promoted on the basis of a range of far-reaching claims from the GM crop industry and its supporters. They say that GM crops:
  ●     Are an extension of natural breeding and do not pose different risks from naturally bred crops
       Are safe to eat and can be more nutritious than naturally bred crops
       Are strictly regulated for safety
       Increase crop yields
  ●     Reduce pesticide use
       Benefit farmers and make their lives easier
       Bring economic benefits
       Benefit the environment
       Can help solve problems caused by climate change
       Reduce energy use
       Will help feed the world.

However, a large and growing body of scientific and other authoritative evidence shows that these claims are not true. On the contrary, evidence presented in this report indicates that GM crops:

 ●     Are laboratory-made, using technology that is totally different from natural breeding methods, and pose different risks from non-GM crops
 ●     Can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts
      Are not adequately regulated to ensure safety
      Do not increase yield potential
      Do not reduce pesticide use but increase it
 ●     Create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant “superweeds”, compromised soil quality, and increased disease susceptibility in crops
 ●     Have mixed economic effects
 ●     Harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems, and reduce biodiversity
 ●     Do not offer effective solutions to climate change
 ●     Are as energy-hungry as any other chemically-farmed crops
 ●     Cannot solve the problem of world hunger but distract from its real causes – poverty, lack of access to food and, increasingly, lack of access to land to grow it on.

Based on the evidence presented in this report, there is no need to take risks with GM crops when effective, readily available, and sustainable solutions to the problems that GM technology is claimed to address already exist. Conventional plant breeding, in some cases helped by safe modern technologies like gene mapping and marker assisted selection, continues to outperform GM in producing high-yield, drought-tolerant, and pest- and disease-resistant crops that can meet our present and future food needs.

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