UK scientists who are themselves genetic engineers, have published a review of research into GMOs and warned against believing claims made for their benefits and safety (1).
The warning comes just days after it was revealed that biotechnology company Syngenta had deliberately hidden the death of animals that had been fed one of its GE products(2).
The findings are further evidence that the scientific establishment's uncritical support for GE foods is based on out-dated understanding of the complex systems underpinning genetics and living systems.
"The Royal Society and other organisations like the Science Media Centre have failed to take a long-term view of the potential impacts of GE foods," says Jon Carapiet spokesman for GE-Free NZ in food and environment.
"Just on the basis of the latest evidence from epigenetics they should recant their blind support for Monsanto and others pushing transgenic agriculture, and demand a halt to official approvals of GE foods like the latest 2,4-d resistant crops, 'stacked' so they can be sprayed with multiple herbicides."
New Zealand is free from commercial GE crops, and our economic interest is to remain so, rather than to join what has become a race to the bottom for environmental contamination and degradation. But there are hidden risks from vested interests pushing their own barrow.
Even within the leadership of Federated Farmers and amongst people regarded as the leaders in the scientific community, there are financial interests at play. Unfortunately these vested interests are driving Government policy and taking funding away from public good science like marker-assisted breeding, and instead promoting their pet GE-projects.
"The foxes are in charge of the scientific hen-house. They are so bold and free of moral judgement that they now promote getting into deals with multinationals that have poor records internationally for ethical business practices and research. They seem all too willing to turn a blind eye to the risks to current and future generations," says Jon Carapiet.
Contact Jon Carapiet 0210507681
Claire Bleakley 06 3089842 / 027 348 6731
1. The report, “GMO Myths and Truths, An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops”, by Michael Antoniou, PhD, Claire Robinson, and John Fagan, PhD is published by Earth Open Source (June 2012). The report is 123 pages long and contains over 600 citations, many of them from the peer-reviewed scientific literature and the rest from reports by scientists, physicians, government bodies, industry, and the media. The report is available at: http://earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/58
2.Syngenta Charged for Covering up Livestock Deaths from GM Corn
Corporation faces criminal charges for concealing own study in which cows died after eating its genetically modified corn Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji
3. Syngenta charged with lying over cattle deaths, GM Watch, 25th May 2012 http://www.gmwatch.org/latest-listing/1-news-items/13926-syngenta-charged-with-lying-over-cattle-deaths