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The current British government has long advocated the growing of GM crops.

America’s National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, a private advisory body, has now issued a report reviewing research to date which confirms that there have been no studies into the long-term human health impact of GM food consumption. Despite this they assert that genetically modified food is safe for human consumption.

Weasel words are frequently used; there is:

  • no substantiated evidence of a difference in risks to human health,
  • no conclusive cause-and-effect evidence of environmental problems from the GE crops,
  • which have produced “generally favourable economic outcomes” for farmers

The Times reports that the review, published yesterday, will strengthen calls to ease the restrictions on commercial planting of GM crops in the European Union but many countries hold aloof:

Lt. Gen. Mi Zhenyu won’t give his troops GM food

Our database notes that in January, the Wall Street Journal reported on an English translation of an essay in a Chinese government weekly by Lt. Gen. Mi Zhenyu, the former deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Military Science, published by Chen Yiwen, a senior official with the China Association for Disaster Prevention, on Chen’s verified blog. According to the translated version, Mi said that GM soybean residues crushed to manufacture soy oil has been to be causing birth defects, depression, infertility and ‘additional afflictions’ in Chinese citizens. Mi asserts that the fault lies with China’s largest supplier of oilseed – the USA. More detail here.

chines army foodPublished: advisor Chen I-wan comments: “The army has established excellent model for people of the whole nation: No GMO staple food and GMO food oil should enter army food supply!” Above: inspection visit.

The American report concluded that GM technology had helped farmers to increase yields by protecting crops against pests and weeds

But another entry by agricultural scientist and analyst, Dr Devinder Sharma, notes that the annual increase in sales of foods free of synthetic chemicals and GM ingredients in the US indicate a rising preference for organically produced foods and that in the White House Michelle Obama grows only organic food in the sprawling gardens and is known to serve organic food to guests. He continues: GM crops:

  • have, in most cases, led to the doubling in the application of chemical herbicides like glyphosate; use has increased to over 283.5 million pounds in 2012;
  • have led to the emergence of superweeds in some 60 million acres of crop land
  • and, to date, have shown no increase in crop productivity – or as the US report admits: “there was no evidence in US agriculture records that GM crops had substantially increased yields”.

GM seeds ‘defenceless against pests and weather change’

95% of India’s cotton is grown from genetically modified hybrid seeds, which have proved defenceless against pests and weather change, leading to devastating losses, according toMay’s Hindu Business Line.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland want a total ban, as do 19 EU states including Germany and France but the current British government has indicated it is willing to consider allowing the growing of GM crops – on their merits or because of profits accruing to the already wealthy?

Articles by: Political Concern

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