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The GM Debate

While concern over GM foods and their possible health risks is increasing among the public, the government seems to be undermining the GM debate by hurrying through decisions and limiting public input into the review.
August 2003


Even though more than half the British public (56 per cent) are still strongly opposed to GM foods, the government has only sponsored one study on the health impacts of GM organisms (GMOs). This study was later rubbished by the government because it reported negative effects - although the paper had been reviewed six times before being published.

But the Royal Society has responded to this study in a report stating that GM "could lead to unpredicted harmful changes in the nutritional state of foods". The society has recommended, therefore, that GM should be considered a health risk for babies, pregnant or breast-feeding women, elderly people and those with chronic disease. As for everyone else, the future is uncertain.

So far, very few independent studies of the health effects of GM foods have been conducted. The Food Standards Agency has commissioned the only human GM trial.

But it's time for us to make up our own minds about GMOs. Join the Five Year Freeze campaign for a GM moratorium that would allow a more thorough consideration of the implications of approving the technology. Or follow the regular updates of GeneWatch, a group that stresses that human rights considerations should come before everything else.

And make sure to keep up to date with other GM food developments at www.connectotel.com/gmfood/ - a frequently updated site with news from all around the world.


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