---Fine Gael's blind faith in GM food and farming
By Michael O'Callaghan
GM-free Ireland Network, 19 February 2008 http://www.gmfreeireland.org/news/index.php
Last week, Fine Gael Agriculture Spokesman Michael Creed claimed that GM food and animal feed are safe because the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, the European Food Safety Authority, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say so.
But the long-term health risks of GM food and animal feed have NEVER been studied. GM crops have scrambled genomes, with unpredictable metabolic and ecological consequences. Their transgenic DNA produces novel proteins our immune systems may not recognize. Jeffrey Smith's book 'Genetic Roulette: the documented health risks of GM food' links GM ingredients with deaths and diseases in laboratory animals, livestock and humans.
So how come our regulatory bodies claim GM food and feed are safe?
To avoid traceability and liability, Monsanto persuaded the US FDA to approve GM food and animal feed WITHOUT ANY RISK ASSESSMENTS or labelling of any kind! Last week, leading U.S. scientists called on Congress to make sure the next president does not do what they say George W. Bush has done: censor, suppress and falsify important environmental and health research.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) is run by Dr. John O'Brien, a former Director of the International Life Sciences Institute biotech lobby group which is banned from WHO food safety discussions because it was funded by Monsanto, Bayer, Dow, DuPont, and Novartis / Syngenta. Not surprisingly, O'Brien claims GM food and animal feed are safe.
But FSAI's Chief Biotechnology Specialist Dr. Pat O'Mahony acknowledged 'We are a law enforcement agency so we do not carry out research' on the safety of GM food and animal feed. FSAI Director of Food Science and Standards Alan Reilly admitted 'We rely on scientific opinion from the European Food Safety Authority.'
EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said 'EFSA cannot deliver a sound scientific opinion on GMOs' because it mostly relies on risk assessments provided by the applicant companies; these are assumption-based, do not follow standard protocols, use results of feeding studies based on single ingredients instead of the whole GMO, discard troubling evidence, and accept the applicants' conclusions without disclosure of the original data.
Pseudo-scientific claims that GM food is safe are as spurious as earlier claims made for tobacco, asbestos, DDT, and the bone meal animal feed that led to BSE and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.