Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Scientists Say 'No Consensus on GMO Food Safety'

Health + Wellness
Scientists Say 'No Consensus on GMO Food Safety'

An international group of more than 90 scientists, academics and physicians released a statement today saying there is no scientific consensus on the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods and crops.

The statement was issued in response to recent claims from the GM industry and some scientists, journalists and commentators that there is a “scientific consensus” that genetically modified organisms (GMO) were generally found safe for human and animal consumption. The statement calls these claims misleading and says, “This claimed consensus on GMO safety does not exist.”

Photo credit: popularresistance.org

Moreover, the claim encourages a climate of complacency that could lead to a lack of regulatory and scientific rigor and appropriate caution, the group said, potentially endangering the health of humans, animals and the environment.

“The statement draws attention to the diversity of opinion over GMOs in the scientific community and the often contradictory or inconclusive findings of studies on GMO safety,” said Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, chairwoman of the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) and one of the signers. “These include toxic effects on laboratory animals fed GM foods, increased pesticide use from GM crop cultivation and the unexpected impacts of Bt insecticidal crops on beneficial and non-target organisms.”

Sigers of the statement include prominent and respected scientists, including Dr. Hans Herren, a former winner of the World Food Prize and this year’s Alternative Nobel Prize laureate, and Dr. Pushpa Bhargava, known as the father of modern biotechnology in India.

Signers of the statement are calling for the compliance to the precautionary approach to GM crops and foods internationally agreed upon in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and UN’s Codex Alimentarius.

ENSSER released the statement the week after the World Food Prize was awarded to two executives of the GM seed giants Monsanto and Syngenta, provoking outrage worldwide. 

 

Radiation-contaminated water tanks and damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Feb. 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Japan will release radioactive wastewater from the failed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, the government announced on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier, aka the doomsday glacier, is seen here in 2014. NASA / Wikimedia Commons / CC0

Scientists have maneuvered an underwater robot beneath Antarctica's "doomsday glacier" for the first time, and the resulting data is not reassuring.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Journalists film a protest by the environmental organization BUND at the Datteln coal-fired power plant in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany on April 23, 2020. Bernd Thissen / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Lead partners of a global consortium of news outlets that aims to improve reporting on the climate emergency released a statement on Monday urging journalists everywhere to treat their coverage of the rapidly heating planet with the same same level of urgency and intensity as they have the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Airborne microplastics are turning up in remote regions of the world, including the remote Altai mountains in Siberia. Kirill Kukhmar / TASS / Getty Images

Scientists consider plastic pollution one of the "most pressing environmental and social issues of the 21st century," but so far, microplastic research has mostly focused on the impact on rivers and oceans.

Read More Show Less
A laborer works at the site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county, Jiangxi province, China on Oct. 7, 2010. Jie Zhao / Corbis via Getty Images

By Michel Penke

More than every second person in the world now has a cellphone, and manufacturers are rolling out bigger, better, slicker models all the time. Many, however, have a bloody history.

Read More Show Less