A column in last week’s Eagle by agriculturalist Kevin Hursh promoted genetically engineered foods as the lowest risk pathway to feed a growing population. He assures us “there is not a single credible health concern [with GE crops]” and that “approval of new traits requires exhaustive research” implying that approval is based solely on sound science. I just wish that was true.
Jeffrey M. Smith in his books “Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating” (2003) and “Genetic Roulette: the Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods” (2007) documents the concerns of many scientists worldwide, and exposes how the biotech corporations managed to get their crops approved.
Smith’s second book, Genetic Roulette, describes 65 different health hazards of GE foods identified by animal studies. The list includes allergies, impaired immune system, infertility, changes in the GI tract and other major organs, accelerated aging, and premature death. I mentioned a few of these in my column on GM Foods a year ago (#53 March 8, 2010).
Genetic Roulette also documents the methods used by biotech corporations to obtain approval in the US and other countries: bribes and threats to government officials; flawed studies (poorly designed, manipulated data, critical omissions); critics silenced (scientists like Arpad Pusztai and Kirk Azevedo fired or threatened); repetition of their mantra “there is no difference” until everyone believes it; and painting of critics as ignorant anti-science crackpots.
For the full story, read these books and study the website of The Institute for Responsible Technology [www.responsibletechnology.org].
This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.