ADDED 6/19/15 Editor’s Notes as the 400 page NAS document is reviewed: Some noteworthy limitations, observations, design issues from a preliminary analysis of the NAS study include:
Design Issues in scope of NAS study: Big Money and Profits have Big Vested interest in not talking about scientist concerns about known existing new generation GMO technologies, even though scientists have expressed reservations about less than robust assessments before release into nature (i.e. Arctic Apple, Innate Potato), as well as illegal releases unresponsive to public interests and filings. The last NAS update took over ten years!
No substantive cautionary words about what we don’t know about genetic engineering of crops and food. Each generation of plants has been accompanied by a descriptive emphasizing the “precision” of gene transfer. Yet each time there is a next generation of GMO, industry interests promote it as “more precise” than prior GMO.
Authentic, on-package GMO labeling is critical to ensure consumer self-protection, especially when government fails to protect consumer interests and safety.
USDA pesticide data only reviewed through 2010 – seriousness of pesticide resistance has continued to increase, resulting in the use of more pesticide applications and the addition of other older pesticides in combination with Roundup’s pesticide use. Didn’t we learn anything from Darwin’s well known work on evolution and other ecologists’ studies? No data included from foreign findings on Roundup’s harms.
Pesticide-dependent nature of most of existing commercial GMO crops resulting in global large scale infiltration and poisoning by ecocidal Roundup
Reliance on compromised study conflicts of interest– Conflict of interest divulgence inadequate, especially with non profit foundations (Gates Foundation) and institutions (universities and non profit groups) involved.
Roundup’s promotion as “safe” and “biodegradable”. These “safety illusions” persist today despite legal judgements against Monsanto’s deceptive advertising on Roundup in New York State, France and other places around the world. What will stop the authorized poison spread if the NAS doesn’t speak up? Instead NAS appears to overlook this source of poisons in their statement of safety about such a pernicious, pesticide dependent crop system infiltrating food and water supplies in the US and well beyond. The false sense of safety and “food security” perpetrated by deceptive marketing statements continue unabated while human and ecosystem harms continue.
Lack of NAS study to simultaneously review highly irregular GMO salmon food approval, even though the details have been known for over ten years, and ecological impacts can have far reaching effects.
Lack of clarity on “inert” ingredients amplifying Roundup toxicity (i.e.POEA) Glyphosate is off patent. Didn’t see any mention of collaborative or synergistic effects of chemical ingredients and companion pesticides like neonicotinoids.
Ecosystem harms not given appropriate attention in risks. This includes horizontal gene transfers, the unstable nature and unintended consequences of transactions. Ecological studies. by nature, capture more of the transgenic harm tentacles.
PANDORA’S BOX – Once released from the lab into the environment, GMO genes cannot be withdrawn. Early GMO studies in the 1960’s were strictly controlled in laboratory environments, because of risk concerns. There is NO SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS ON GMO SAFETY. NO FEDERALLY SANCTIONED RESTRICTIONS TODAY. PRIVATE RESEARCH CONTINUES RELATIVELY UNFETTERED, WITH LITTLE OR NO REGULATORY OVERSIGHT.
Also see other links in the below post for other reviewers’ critiques
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) genetically engineered crop study, released in May, is a very mixed bag, despite ongoing deficient risk assessment procedures employed by GMO developers and US regulatory authorities. Risks include potential unintended consequences from what we still don’t know about the genetic engineering manipulations affecting our food supply, transgenerational genome mutations, novel allergens never seen before in nature, lack of data transparency and health impacts. Other nations assess individual crops before allowing into their countries and some ban GMOs, with over 64 nations mandating labeling.
Each genetic engineering event is a unique transaction, with its own set of trait insertion attributes and impacts. Each GMO transformation also presents myriad known and unknown effects relating to genomes, ecosystem, and planetary consequences with large scale pesticide-saturated monoculture crop farming (especially evident when coupled with more and more toxic chemicals and untested combinations of pesticides). Additionally, many regulatory agency functions are “captured” by GMO interests, with scientist studies and comments contrary to industry interests often silenced or muffled. The NAS dodged providing much-needed clarity on some of the most pressing GMO issues of the day, when independent science and evidence on the ground indicate harms in progress. Have the Precautionary Principle and need for more robust risk assessment been cast aside again for profit at the expense of human health and ecosystem vitality?
Even though GMO food, chemical, and institutional interests continually repeat their mantra that GMO foods are safe, it is disingenuous to generalize food safety regarding each unique GMO transaction, especially when GMO events are patent-protected “confidential business information” lacking much-needed transparency. HuffPost captured some of the NAS findings in this article. The NAS committee appeared to dodge answering some tough questions, and report recommendations “are disconnected from the substance of its own findings.” reflective of vested interest editorial and other pressures pertaining to findings which might impact patent and commercial GMO related interests. Meanwhile autoimmune, gastrointestinal, neurological, liver and kidney diseases, cancers, metabolic disorders and other health issues have skyrocketed since GMO foods entered the food supply in the mid-90’s. Further clouding information to the public, mainstream media also warps the GMO safety message.
Have we opened a Pandora’s Box of GMO-related consequences for human health and our planetary ecosystems? Are we concerned about the food and water we now consume with record amounts of agricultural chemicals, and the health of the next generation? Check the Latest GMO Science page, keep informed, be active, and stay tuned for more details.