From GM Watch: GMO safety assessments have important knowledge gaps – scientific report
Ever wondered why there is such a massive gap between your view of GMO safety and the view of most governments and pro-GMO scientists? Ever asked yourself whether, in doubting GMO safety, your perception may be skewed or that you may be guilty of championing dodgy science or ignoring “sound” science?
If your answer to either of these questions is yes, a new scientific report commissioned by the Norwegian Environment Agency will reassure you that it is the GMO proponents’ views that are skewed, not your own.
The report investigates whether the GM soybean Intacta Roundup Ready 2 Pro grown in Brazil is safe for health and the environment, as well as sustainable. This GM variety is also authorized in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, and may be present in Bolivia due to illegal introductions from the neighbouring countries.
The report, by Georgina Catacora-Vargas of GenØk Centre for Biosafety, concludes that:
* In the scientific literature there are important gaps of knowledge about the safety of GM crops and a lack of proof of their safety.
* Authorizations of GM crops are given on the basis of incomplete information and research (provided by the companies that develop them) with significant methodological weaknesses.
* There is only limited research on stacked GM crops such as Intacta RR2 Pro, including on the combined effects of the insect resistant and herbicide tolerant genes.
Catacora-Vargas searched for animal feeding studies on Intacta RR2 Pro but found only a 42-day nutritional study in chickens and a medium-term 90-day feeding trial in mice. Neither is long enough to show long-term health effects.
Catacora-Vargas cites the pig feeding study by Dr Judy Carman and colleagues as a potentially informative study, noting that adverse health effects were found in the GMO-fed pigs. Catacora-Vargas also mentions the 2-year Seralini study on GMO maize and Roundup as indicative that long-term studies are needed.
The author’s consideration of these findings is in stark contrast to the determination of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to ignore or dismiss worrying findings in independent animal feeding studies.
No GMOs are grown or sold in Norway due to the country’s Gene Technology Act, which requires that the GMO is shown to be “of benefit to society and… likely to promote sustainable development”. Thus far, no GMO has satisfied these conditions.
In conclusion, the stance of the new report and of the Norwegian government on GMOs is likely not so far apart from the views of many GMO skeptics.
The report is now available from the website of GenØk-Centre for Biosafety: