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Checkbiotech: WHO report on GM foods ignores scientific facts: Gene Campaign
Posted by: DR. RAUPP ; madora (IP Logged)
Date: July 25, 2005 07:29AM ; ;

Expressing concern at the World Health Organisation's ''blanket
endorsement'' of the highly controversial Genetically Modified (GM) foods,
civil society organisations said the UN health body had ignored
apprehensions of scientists and consumers across the world regarding the
safety of GM foods, July 2005.

The WHO report does not elaborate on the data obtained from the scientific
studies conducted so far on GM foods which have repeatedly shown serious
harm to the health of rats and other experimental animals that were fed GM
corn and potatoes, said the Gene Campaign and Consumer Coordination Council
in a joint statement.

The recently released WHO report titled Modern Food Biotechnology, Human
Health and Development: An Evidence-Based Study makes an ''unapologetic
case'' for the acceptance of GM foods saying they can contribute directly to
enhancing human health.

It repeats the standard rhetoric of how GMOs will increase agricultural
productivity, improve nutritional values, raise farm incomes and increase
crop sustainability and food security. The report does not give details of
how all this is to be achieved, through which crops or traits, nor does the
dichotomy between these expansive projections and the restricted
availability of GM crops find any mention.

It is also silent on the reports of damage, even fatal, in many cases among
rats and experimental animals with serious injury to organs like kidneys,
liver and the blood, along with a collapse of the immune system.

Civil society representatives -- Dr Suman Sahai and Mr Bejon Misra -- said
today that India and other countries must reject the WHO report and join
hands to resist the global orchestration in favor of GM crops and foods led
by the US. Instead, countries should evaluate the considerable scientific
data available on the dangers of GM foods and formulate their own policies
to ensure the well being of their farmers and consumers.

They urged the Indian government to stop the import of GM foods and make
mandatory the labeling of all other foods that are being imported,
especially from the US. In addition, the release of GM food crops should be
held back in India until clear safety data, generated independently, has
been subjected to a public risk-benefit analysis.

GM crops in the pipeline for India -- cabbage, cauliflower, brinjal, potato,
tomato and rice -- must be put on hold till there is a better understanding
of the health impact of GM foods.

The new WHO report is in line with the trend visible in international
organisations that are succumbing to US led efforts to force acceptance of
the controversial GM technology. First, the CGIAR (Consultative Group on
International Agricultural Research) system began to promote GM crops as the
answer to better agricultural productivity and food security followed by the
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, FAO, which in its annual report
of 2004, came out with the position that many of the answers to global food
security were to be found in GM crops, and now the report by the WHO,
stating that GMOs will increase agricultural productivity, improve
nutritional values, raise farm incomes, increase food security and enhance
human health, they added.


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