June 21, 2012
Genetic Engineers Produce Damning Report Exposing Genetically Modified Foods
A damning new evidence-based report about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has just been published -- and it reveals that most of the claims made by the pro-GM camp are nothing more than hot air.
This comprehensive and fascinating report, published by non-governmental organisation Earth Open Source, is entitled GMO Myths and Truths: An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops. What makes it so powerful is that two of the authors are genetic engineers -- Michael Antoniou PhD, of King’s College London School of Medicine in the UK, and John Fagan PhD, a leading sustainability expert in food system, biosafety, and GMO testing, and founder/chief scientific officer of the Global Id Group.
Dispelling the GM myths
The report effectively dismisses the “far reaching claims” used as the basis for extensive promotion of GMO crops by the biotech industry, governments and government agencies and proponents of GMO technology. It reveals that the exact opposite of the pro-GM claims is true pretty much universally. Most notably, the reports shows that GMOs are associated with hazards to health and the environment -- none of which comes as a surprise to those of us who have been following GMO developments closely.
Rather than representing the solution to world hunger, GMOs, according to these authors, not only fail to deal with the problem, but they also distract from its real causes: “Poverty, lack of access to food and, increasingly, lack of access to land to grow it on”.
Traditional plant breeding outperforms GM
The 7 Biggest Reasons To Never Eat Genetically Modified Foods
The report provides evidence that conventional plant breeding outperforms GMc crops in terms of yield, drought tolerance, disease and pest resistance -- all of which confirms the findings of a 30-year study comparing organic with conventional farming methods, including GMOs. GMO-free farming is absolutely able to meet our present and future food needs, without all the risks and damage being wreaked by GMO technology!
The new report also echoes the findings of 400 scientists from 60 countries who concluded, back in 2008, that GMOs were no solution to food shortages in the developing world. This research was detailed in the UN’s International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report.
The 2008 report concluded that GM raises numerous contentious issues for developing countries, such as gene transfer, contamination of organic crops, undermining of local practices, reduced food security and unpredictable or reduced yields.
The biotech industry and government agencies must now be answerable
Opposition to GMO technology can no longer be dismissed as emotional anti-science or pseudoscience. With every uncomfortable truth and dirty trick now exposed by solid science from genetic engineers themselves, GMO food and agriculture now looks less like an impressive, modern technology, and more like a dangerous and foolhardy con trick designed to secure ownership of the world’s food supply for highly unscrupulous and unethical corporations.
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 easierBring 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.
Read the full GMO Myths and Truths report