Whereas the UK's Food Standards Agency, firmly under the thumb of GM proponent Sir John Krebs - a leading Fellow of the Royal Society, declared all approved GM foods to be safe on day one of its existence without even bothering with an enquiry, and while the UK's Royal Society prepares to issue its working group's advice, doubtless telling us there is no scientific evidence to support concerns over human health issues and GM foods, the French food safety authority has by contrast issued a report pointing out the need for much more investigation of these issues.
The reality is that there is almost no credible independent peer reviewed research into these issues, as Arpad Pusztai noted in his peer-reviewed review of published studies: GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS: ARE THEY A RISK TO HUMAN/ANIMAL HEALTH?
Pusztai comprehensive review notes the scarcity of safety tests, compositional studies, nutritional/toxicological studies and allergenicity studies and concludes, "Our present data base is woefully inadequate. Moreover, the scientific quality of what has been published is, in most instances, not up to expected standards."
GM foods "still not proved to be safe"
Environment Daily, 31/01/02
Long-term potential health risks posed by genetically modified (GM) material in food require further investigation before GM technology is commercialised, French food safety authority Afssa said yesterday.
Its position paper shows continuing resistance from French public authorities to any move towards an early end to the EU's moratorium on new GM crop authorisations.
Published in advance of a government-sponsored public debate on GMOs regulation to take place in Paris next week, Afssa argues that current safety testing for foods containing GMOs is insufficient.
Research into the impacts of prolonged exposure must be added to the existing regime, with particular emphasis placed on identifying risks of gradual development of allergic reactions, it says.
Existing testing procedures designed to identify acute toxicity should be complemented by tests for "subchronic" toxicity, it adds.
These are claimed to offer the only opportunity to assess long-term impacts on immune, hormonal and reproductive systems.
France is one of the strongest supporters of the EU moratorium on new GM crop approvals, in operation since 1998. Along with allied countries, it argues that authorisations should not restart until planned rules on labelling and traceability of GM foods is in place
Follow-up: Afssa http://www.afssa.fr/,
tel: +33 1 49 77 13 50, and position paper