Wednesday, July 30, 2014

AAAS Board Says GMO No Less Safe Than Conventional Mods

. . Foods containing ingredients from genetically modified (GM) crops pose no greater risk than the same foods made from crops modified by conventional plant breeding techniques, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Board of Directors has concluded. Legally mandating labels on GM foods could therefore “mislead and falsely alarm consumers,” the Board said in a statement approved 20 October.
. . In releasing the Board’s statement, AAAS noted that it is important to distinguish between labeling intended to protect public health—about the presence of allergens, for example—and optional labeling that aids consumer decision-making, such as “kosher” or “USDA organic,” which reflects verifiable and certifiable standards about production and handling.
. . Several current efforts to require labeling of GM foods are not being driven by any credible scientific evidence that these foods are dangerous, AAAS said. Rather, GM labeling initiatives are being advanced by “the persistent perception that such foods are somehow ‘unnatural,’” as well as efforts to gain competitive advantages within the marketplace, and the false belief that GM crops are untested.
. .In the United States, in fact, each new GM crop must be subjected to rigorous analysis and testing in order to receive regulatory approval, AAAS noted. It must be shown to be the same as the parent crop from which it was derived and if a new protein trait has been added, the protein must be shown to be neither toxic nor allergenic. “As a result and contrary to popular misconceptions,” AAAS reported, “GM crops are the most extensively tested crops ever.” 

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