Reports released this month by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirm the safety of biotech corn and soybean varieties. The reports add to a long line of scientific findings that affirm the safety of food and feed made from biotech crops.
The EFSA, which provides independent scientific advice to the European Union, determined the biotech crops are as healthy and environmentally friendly as the conventional varieties of corn and soybeans.
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European opposition to biotech crops has no scientific basis and will cost the continent dearly in biodiversity, land preservation, and adaptation to global warming, according to four Swedish scientists who say the European Union’s approval process has been captured by special interests who “demonize” agricultural biotechnology.
“Lobbyists who benefit from demonizing GM crops are not the ones who have to carry the costs,” the quartet wrote in EMBO Reports, published by Nature for the European Molecular Biology Organization. “It is not the hyped risks of GM crops that are a problem in the EU, it is the submissive attitude of politicians and policymakers towards organizations who insist that GM crops are risky. It is then ordinary consumers who pay the costs and do not receive the benefits.” READ MORE »
Confirming the safety of biotech crops, research by Europe’s top food safety regulators concluded a strain of genetically modified (GM) maize has no negative effects on human health or the environment.
The biotechnology panel of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said it “did not identify adverse effects on the environment or human and animal health” during the 2010 growing season from the biotech corn. The panel reported that the study is consistent with its previous scientific opinions on the safety of the crop and its recommendations on risk management.
EFSA published the findings based on an analysis of GM maize produced in 2010, Food Navigator news reports. In 2008, EFSA scientists reached the same conclusion supporting the safety of the strain of GM maize.
EFSA is a leading authority on food safety risk assessment that provides independent scientific advice for the European Union’s food supply. Read the full EFSA scientific opinion here.
This month the European Commission released the results from a ten-year study that examined the environmental, health and social impacts of GMOs. The study finds that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, pose no more health or environmental risks than conventionally bred crops. In addition, the report states that we must not overlook GMOs in our efforts to address the challenges of the 21st century, including a growing population, a changing climate and limited fossil fuel resources.
The publication presents the results of 50 projects, involving more than 400 research groups and representing European Union research grants of 200M Euros (approximately $300 million). The publication builds on a report released by the commission in 2001 that studied the impacts of GMOs for fifteen years.
The European Commission writes in the foreword to the report that “biotechnology is not a purely academic exercise: its findings and developments will lead to applications and products essential to society.” You can read the full report here.
Here are a few stories that caught our eye this week. From Arkansas to Brussels, policymakers across the globe are considering the benefits of genetically modified (GM) food, and an international consortium continues its work to improve rice crop yields. Read more below.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee
Court decisions curbing sale of genetically modified foods counter ’science-based regulatory decisions’
Court decisions setting back the sale of genetically modified foods do not comply with sound science, according to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). The Hill reports that the senators sent a letter to USDA Sec.Tom Vilsack last month, arguing that such court decisions may “thrust the U.S. regulatory system for agriculture biotechnology into a non-functioning regulatory system.” READ MORE »