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    Genetically Modified Crops Are Overregulated
    By News Staff | February 17th 2013 06:30 PM | 7 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    Despite being in use for almost 20 years with no health or safety issues, controversy continues to surround genetically modified crops and their regulation.

    Bruce Chassy, a professor emeritus of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, believes that after thousands of research studies and worldwide planting, "genetically modified foods pose no special risks to consumers or the environment" and are over-regulated.

    Farmers have witnessed the advantages of GM crops firsthand through increases in their yields and profit, and decreases in their labor, energy consumption, pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions, Chassy said.  The overregulation of GM crops actually hurts the environment, reduces global health and burdens the consumer. 

    Despite the benefits, various regulatory agencies require newly developed GM crops to be put to the test with rigorous safety evaluations that include molecular characterization, toxicological evaluation, allergenicity assessments, compositional analysis and feeding studies. This extensive testing takes five to 10 years and costs tens of millions of dollars, and Chassy argues that this process "wastes resources and diverts attention from real food safety issues."

    "With more than half of the world's population now living in countries that have adopted GM crops, it might be appropriate to reduce the regulatory scrutiny of GM crops to a level that is commensurate with science-based risk assessment," Chassy said.

    Chassy chronicled the scientific tests used in pre-market safety assessments of GM foods and elaborate on the evidence from thousands of research studies and expansive GM plantings that he says show these crops do not present risks to consumers or the environment. The over-regulation of GM foods is a response not to scientific evidence, Chassy said, but to a global campaign that disseminates misinformation and fear about these food sources.


    Chassy's talk, "Regulating the Safety of Foods and Feeds Derived From Genetically Modified Crops"  was given at the AAAS meeting in Boston February 17th.

    Comments

    GM (Genetically Modified) food is the ultimate food scandal. Not only is it 'fake' lab created food - it is also irreversible as it spoils the soil, and kills birds and bees that are part of nature. It is a BAD IDEA. The GM groups are lobbying HARD to get farmers and the government to pass inch by inch through - to ensure a lifetime supply (for them) of orders. This is SHORT TERM thinking at its worst. Please read about GM foods, and avoid GM products (ie processed foods and certain vegetables and meat). Vote with your buying pounds. Ask your local retailers or order online and ask ask ask about it. Buy natural, real, local foods for you and your family. It is cheaper and easier than you think and you will be pleased you did so. PS - farmers, please do not be so easily swayed to the 'dark side' for cheap thrills from the GM crews.

    Chassy is living in a fantasy world. He starts off by referring to GM as having "no health or safety issues" -- that is quite untrue, as are many of the other statements in his piece. There are scores of papers in the science literature that show environmental damage and health damage associated with the growing and consumption of GM crops -- some of the damage comes from the crops themselves, and some comes from the herbicides which are essential ingredients of the "GM farming cocktail." Call it collateral damage if you like, but it is damage nonetheless -- and only the most irresponsible would pretend that it does not exist. There are no yield increases associated with GM crops -- except maybe for very short-term increases in the first few years after introduction, before super-weeds and super-bugs begin to appear and cause mayhem. Then there is yield drag. And to argue that regulation (for example in Europe) is anti-science is arrogant nonsense -- whatever its defects may be, the EU's regulatory system for GM crops is science-based and hotly debated in the science community. The days of GM farming are numbered, and Chassy knows it.

    Gerhard Adam
    Despite the benefits, various regulatory agencies require newly developed GM crops to be put to the test with rigorous safety evaluations that include molecular characterization, toxicological evaluation, allergenicity assessments, compositional analysis and feeding studies. This extensive testing takes five to 10 years and costs tens of millions of dollars, and Chassy argues that this process "wastes resources and diverts attention from real food safety issues."
    Is this guy so brain-dead that he thinks GMO means only one gene and one trait is ever modified?  Hell, let's adopt his standard so that we don't need to test pharmaceuticals any more.  After all, we've already tested the drugs currently developed, so why waste resources testing new ones.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Give it a few years and most of the world will wake up to GMO and rebel. You mention pharmaceuticals being tested and how many get pulled from the market in 10 years and countless lawsuits? This will also happen with GMO producers, it will be a good time to be a corporate lawyer in the near future and it will be lawyers who will put the GMO producers out of existence.

    Besides, it is well known fact, as similar to biotech funded GMO studies, that medical drug studies are mostly based upon fraudulent research: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and...

    Hey cowboi bob, can you name me one drug that actually cures anything?? I can certainly show you many drugs with side effects, like every one of them.

    I say we all collect the pro GMOers, put them and their families on some distant island for 10 years, far away so that the seed cannot reach any continent, and if they are all healthy after one decade, you win.. I will gladly fund that research project.

    My prognosis is that I believe cowboi bob is breathing in too much of that GMO fed cow poo contributing to his own brain deadness.

    Gerhard Adam
    I see that reading comprehension is not high on your "to-do" list.  Since you're clearly having difficulty, let me spell it out for you .... I was being sarcastic.  Hope that helps.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Hey cowboi bob, can you name me one drug that actually cures anything?
    Gerhard's Law has been invoked. Should we close the comment thread?
    Gerhard Adam
    Might as well.  I didn't even think I was being nuanced.
    Mundus vult decipi