Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

New Study Shows Glaring Differences Between GMO and Non-GMO Foods

Food
New Study Shows Glaring Differences Between GMO and Non-GMO Foods

New studies conducted by scientists independent of the biotech industry are showing glaring differences between genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their non-GMO counterparts.

"Substantial Equivalence" has benefited the GMO produce trade, allowing it to skip over regulations that would apply to other food products including uniquely processed foods, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and food additives, all of which require a wide range of toxicological tests and can be subject to legal limitations regarding safe consumption.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

These findings contrast the principle of "Substantial Equivalence," which has facilitated the approval of GMOs with virtually no protection for public health or the environment, reports the Permaculture Research Institute.

The substantial equivalence concept, introduced in 1993 by the Organisation for Economic Development (an international economic and trade organization, not a health body), states that if a new food is found to be mostly equal to an already existing food product it can be treated the same way as the existing product in respect to safety.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Japan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare typically base their GMO food safety regulations on substantial equivalence.

This faulty concept has benefited the GMO produce trade, allowing it to skip over regulatory requirements that would apply to other food products including uniquely processed foods, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and food additives, all of which require a wide range of toxicological tests and can be subject to legal limitations regarding safe consumption.

There are many good reasons for consumers to feel unprotected by these regulatory policies, considering how flexible and open they are to interpretation for the approval of just about any kind of GMO submitted.

"In practice, the principle allows the comparison of a GM line to any existing variety within the same species, and even to an abstract entity made up of ingredients from a collection of species," wrote Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji in a Permaculture Research Institute post. "This means that a GM variety can have all the worst traits of many different varieties and still be deemed substantially equivalent."

Independent assessments of substantial equivalence carried out across the world have shown how this practice is not only inadequate but untrustworthy, and the new studies confirm this. 

In April 2013, an Egyptian publication led by Professor El-Sayed Shaltout at Alexandria University, found that a type of Monsanto's GMO corn showed substantial non-equivalence and toxicity when compared to non-GMO corn, 

A more recent study led by Thomas Bøhn at the Norwegian Centre for Biosafety tested scores of GMO and non-GMO soybeans, and found them not to be substantially equivalent. 

"Profiling technologies ... allow the simultaneous measurement and comparison of thousands of plant components, in this case proteins, without prior knowledge of their identity," wrote Sirinathsinghji. "These methods are now being employed by independent scientists to provide a more thorough, unbiased and global profile of GM crop composition for risk assessment."

Visit EcoWatch’s FOOD and GMO pages for more related news on this topic.

 

Yves Adams / Instagram

A rare yellow penguin has been photographed for what is believed to be the first time.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The Crystal building in London, England is the first building in the world to be awarded an outstanding BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) rating and a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum rating. Alphotographic / Getty Images

By Stuart Braun

We spend 90% of our time in the buildings where we live and work, shop and conduct business, in the structures that keep us warm in winter and cool in summer.

But immense energy is required to source and manufacture building materials, to power construction sites, to maintain and renew the built environment. In 2019, building operations and construction activities together accounted for 38% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, the highest level ever recorded.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Houses and wooden debris are shown in flood waters from Hurricane Katrina Sept. 11, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jerry Grayson / Helifilms Australia PTY Ltd / Getty Images

By Eric Tate and Christopher Emrich

Disasters stemming from hazards like floods, wildfires, and disease often garner attention because of their extreme conditions and heavy societal impacts. Although the nature of the damage may vary, major disasters are alike in that socially vulnerable populations often experience the worst repercussions. For example, we saw this following Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey, each of which generated widespread physical damage and outsized impacts to low-income and minority survivors.

Read More Show Less
A gray wolf is seen howling outside in winter. Wolfgang Kaehler / Contributor / Getty Images

Wisconsin will end its controversial wolf hunt early after hunters and trappers killed almost 70 percent of the state's quota in the hunt's first 48 hours.

Read More Show Less
Tom Vilsack speaks on December 11, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware after being nominated to be Agriculture Secretary by U.S. President Joe Biden. Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday was the lone progressive to vote against Tom Vilsack reprising his role as secretary of agriculture, citing concerns that progressive advocacy groups have been raising since even before President Joe Biden officially nominated the former Obama administration appointee.

Read More Show Less