The GM industry seems to be playing the deception game. In an effort to push their GM plants out in the market, they stated that scientists have reached a consensus regarding the safety of such crops. While many different products have to go through stringent testing and evaluation before reaching the market, many GM crops seem to be taking a shortcut. Many reach the markets where these plants are allowed even before they go through extensive safety testing. The GM industry is even claiming, along with scientists and other sectors, that the worldwide scientific community has reached a consensus regarding the safety of such genetically modified plants. Proponents claim that there is a scientific consensus that GM plants are safe for humans, animals and the environment. But a recent statement issued by a group of scientists worldwide is saying the opposite.
Members of the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility or ENSSER, an international organization of over 90 academics, scientists and physicians, issued a statement that says the scientific community as a whole has not reached a consensus regarding the safety of GM crops. The said statement was released a week after the World Food Prize was awarded to members of the GM seed giants Monsanto and Syngenta.
According to Professor Brian Wynne, associate director and co-principal investigator from 2002-2012 of the UK ESRC Centre for the Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, Cesagen, Lancaster University, “There is no consensus amongst scientific researchers over the health or environmental safety of GM crops and foods, and it is misleading and irresponsible for anyone to claim that there is. Many salient questions remain open, while more are being discovered and reported by independent scientists in the international scientific literature. Indeed some key public interest questions revealed by such research have been left neglected for years by the huge imbalance in research funding, against thorough biosafety research and in favour of the commercial-scientific promotion of this technology.” Prof. Wynne is also one of the signatories of the issued statement regarding GM crops.
Another signatory of the statement, Professor C. Vyvyan Howard, a medically qualified toxicopathologist based at the University of Ulster also added, “A substantial number of studies suggest that GM crops and foods can be toxic or allergenic, and that they can have adverse impacts on beneficial and non-target organisms. It is often claimed that millions of Americans eat GM foods with no ill effects. But as the US has no GMO labeling and no epidemiological studies have been carried out, there is no way of knowing whether the rising rates of chronic diseases seen in that country have anything to do with GM food consumption or not. Therefore this claim has no scientific basis.”