Regulators rely on poor quality studies and often no detailed studies at all to assess the safety of GMOs, writes Prof Jack Heinemann
EXCERPT: The authors identified 47 GM crop plants that were approved by at least one food safety regulator somewhere… For these 47 approved products, only 18 published, peer-reviewed studies could be found. These studies were restricted to only 9 of the 47 approved GM food crops. The lack of studies isn’t the only interesting finding. Critically, many of this small number of studies also failed to adequately describe the methodology, other basic information needed to determine the level of confidence in the results, or even the results!
Do regulators rely on quality scientific information when they assess the safety of genetically engineered plants intended for use as food or animal feed?
I addressed this question in a recent blog on The Conversation. The short answer is that they don’t routinely rely upon sources of evidence that have been through a process of blind peer-review at the time that they make their conclusions about the safety of these products. This isn’t to say that their conclusions are necessarily wrong as a result. However, where the ultimate product is trust, it is relevant how society views sources of information.