Do Genetically Modified Food come to our table? The answer is “Yes! Probably yes!”
The exclusion of food containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) from our nutrition, requires the attention of consumers.
All food (including processed food) or feed which contains greater than 0.9% of approved GMOs must be labelled and “are obliged to indicate that in a visible manner on their pacage”, according to European Union Regulation.
What are the GM Foods?
They are foods that come from GMOs or GM Crops, which means organisms that have been processed in laboratory and their DNA has been subject to modification in order to become resistant to pathogens, weeds, pesticides and insecticides.
Common crops of GM Foods are the by-products of transgenic plants such as maize, soybeans, rice, cotton etc. They are used as food, food components or feed. They are implicated to allergies, resistance to antibiotics and toxicity for humans.
The expansion of GM Crops, is considered to cause lesions to biodiversity. Modified DNA enters the ecosytem and contaminates the genes of conventional crops. Resistance of GMOs to herbicides causes increased spraying and therefore increased circulation of pesticides into the environement.
The results of recent french study of Gilles-Eric Seralini et al. of Caen University, are published at Food and Chemical Toxicology journal at 19.9.2012.
Their findings relate to the effects of Genetically Modified maize NK-6-3 and of herbicide Roundap of Monsando to rats.
They created questions and concerns about the safety of human health from the use of GMO’s and GM food consumption.
According to Reuters on 19.9.2012, “the animals on the GM diet suffered mammary tumours, as well as severe liver and kidney damage”.
The variety of corn NK603 has been made tolerant to herbicide substance glyphosate which is also invented by Monsanto.
Monsanto is the largest firm of production and trading of GMOs globaly (70% of gobal market). Their pesticide was firstly released in 1970 under the brand ‘Roundap’ and the largest percentage of GM seeds are sold by Monsanto together with the pesticide.
The case was referred to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
In their Press Release on 4.10.2012, EFSA concluded only for the methodology of the study of Seralini et al. They answered that:”… based on the information published by the authors, EFSA does not see a need to re-examine its previous safety evaluation of maize NK603 nor to consider these findings in the ongoing assessment of glyphosate.”
Also, “The Director of Scientific Evaluation of Regulated Products added that the consideration of possible long-term effects of GMOs has been, and will continue to be, a key focus of EFSA’s work to protect animals, humans and the environment. EFSA’s preliminary review issued today is the first step in a two-stage process. A second analysis will be delivered by the end of October 2012. This will take into account any additional information from the study authors, who will be given an opportunity to supply study documentation and procedures to the Authority to ensure the broadest possible understanding of their work. It will also include an overview of Member State assessments of the paper and an analysis from the German authorities responsible for the assessment of glyphosate.”
Monsanto, on their part in a multipaged answer stated among others that:
“This study does not meet minimum acceptable standards for this type of scientific research, the findings are not supported by the data presented, and the conclusions are not relevant for the purpose of safety assessment.”
Criticism of USA to EU
The European Agency for Health and Consumers, with relevant legislation seeks to respond to the US criticism for “anti-scientific” (as they name it) regulation for GMOs that “equals protectionism of domestic consumer products”.
Expected criticism as trade of GMOs, brings enormous profit to companies that specialize in their development. GM food and their modified DNA are the intellectual property of their manufacturer.
European regulations do not prohibit import and circulation of foods with GM components. They set mandatory labeling only for their ingredients but not for feed that has been used and essentially instruct consumers to check the labeling on packed food.
Means of pressure against GMOs, foods and feed can be the increasing opposition of european public opinion.