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Independent Scientists Call for GM Food Enquiry


Independent Scientists Call for Enquiry into GM Food Safety

At a briefing to be held in Parliament tomorrow, the Independent Science Panel (a group representing more than 1 000 scientists around the world) will release its new dossier of evidence on the problems and hazards of GM as well as the proven successes and benefits of sustainable agriculture. It makes the case for banning all environmental releases of GM crops and for a comprehensive shift to sustainable agriculture.

The ISP will call for a thorough enquiry into GM food safety and the systematic abuse of science that has allowed commercial approval in the face of damning evidence indicating that GM food is far from safe. There is ample evidence to indicate all is not well with GM food and feed. But the findings have been systematically suppressed, ignored, misrepresented or simply not followed up.

The latest in a long series of scandals is the European Food Safety Authority’s positive assessment of Monsanto’s GM maize Mon863, despite damning evidence of serious health impacts: kidney malformations and increase in white blood cells in male rats, increase in blood glucose and reduced immature red blood cells in female rats.

Other evidence includes the following.

• Villagers in the south of the Philippines living near fields planted with Monsanto’s GM hybrid maize containing Bt toxin suffered debilitating illnesses in two successive growing seasons.

• Between 2001 and 2002, twelve dairy cows died on a farm in Hesse, Germany, after eating Syngenta’s Bt176 GM maize, and others in the herd had to be slaughtered on account of mysterious illnesses.

• Arpad Pusztai and colleagues found that GM potatoes with snowdrop lectin adversely affected every organ system of young rats, and the stomach and small intestine lining grew up to twice the thickness of controls.

• Scientists in Egypt found similar results in the gastrointestinal tract of mice fed GM potato with Bt toxin.

• US Food and Drug Administration had data since the early 1990s showing that rats fed GM tomatoes with antisense gene to delay ripening developed small holes in their stomach.

• Aventis (now Bayer) found 100% increase in deaths of broiler chickens fed glufosinate-tolerant GM maize T25 compared to controls.

• Numerous anecdotes from farmers and others indicating that livestock, wildlife and lab animals avoid GM feed, and fail to thrive or die when forced to eat it.

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