GM Foods — No Risk, No Evidence of Harm

At a briefing from the EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/jrc/index.cfm) on Sept 10th, I heard about their work on GM foods.  The JRC is a very highly-regarded research organisation, engaged on a wide range of projects.  It is just publishing a report called the GMO Health Study (actually the name is much longer, but that will do for now).  I was impressed by their rigour and professionalism, and by the huge effort that goes into monitoring GM foods.
 
I asked if there was any prima facie scientific reason to be concerned about the safety of GM foods.  They said No.  I asked if they had ever identified negative health consequences from GMO consumption.  No again.  I asked if they had ever declined to approve any GMO product.  They said No.  Unapproved products were merely in the pipeline waiting assessment.  They were not in any sense “dis-approved”.
 
Given the lack of any apparent risk, you might well ask why we expend enormous effort and a great deal of money doing all the tests.  But that’s the price we pay for media hysteria over “Frankenstein Foods”.

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6 Responses to GM Foods — No Risk, No Evidence of Harm

  1. Ryan Lavelle says:

    Dear Roger

    So you will you publicly and forcefully denounce our monarchy who shamelessly stick to their fraudulent malthusian ludditery on this topic, as with many others?

    Regards,
    Ryan

  2. Roger Helmer says:

    In a word, Ryan, No. I daresay that I could find some issue, somewhere, to enable me to disagree with anyone you care to mention. But when you grow up, you will find that you have to deal with people even when you disagree with them. I disagree with Prince Charles on green issues: I agree with him on architecture. But above all I respect him as our future King and as a symbol for our nation.

  3. Mike Robinson says:

    Roger,

    There is one area that you have conveniently ignored – patents.

    The reason GM crops should be banned, and fast, is that Monsanto, Bayer and their ilk control the seed. Farmers cannot grow the next years crop from the seed because the genetic manipulation prevents it.

    So no matter how “safe” the product is, it is unsafe to have in the real environment. Because ANY cross pollenation results in contamination of other genetic strains, with the inability to use seed the following year passed on to non-GM crops.

    Isn’t it interesting, also, that in France and Germany, there is ever growing evidence that the same companies’ pesticides are responsible for colony collapse syndrome? Could it be that they want to minimise cross pollenation? I wonder why?

  4. Ryan Lavelle says:

    The same monarchy who just refused to exercise their constitutional power and refuse to sign the Lisbon treaty?

    Roger, you are a fraud.

  5. Roger Helmer says:

    Mike, you miss the point. If farmers believe that the terms under which Monsanto offer to supply seed are too onerous or unattractive, they have a solution ready to hand. They can refrain from buying the seed.

    And Ryan, your point is almost too crude and discourteous to justify a response. But I can support an institution without agreeing with every decision it makes; and I can understand how difficult it is for a constitutional monarchy to challenge the government of the day.

    Just as I can support Sarah Palin without necessarily buying all of her religious-right agenda.

  6. Mike Robinson says:

    “If farmers believe that the terms under which Monsanto offer to supply seed are too onerous or unattractive, they have a solution ready to hand. They can refrain from buying the seed.”

    If you’re really that naive, God help us.

    Actually, did you read what I said? My point also included the issue of cross-pollenation, again demonstrating you are quite happy to conveniently ignore issues when it suits.

    I was thinking Ryan was being a bit strong in his resposnses to you. I begin to reconsider.

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