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Statement declaring 'No scientific consensus on GMO safety' published in peer-reviewed science journal

GMO safety

(NaturalNews) In 2013, the biotech community responded, declaring there is a
"scientific consensus" that GM foods are safe for human and
environmental health.

However, after reviewing these claims, more than 300 scientists disagree
with the biotech community and say this statement is "misleading" and
that "the claimed consensus on GMO safety does not exist."

In fact, more than 300 scientists and experts in molecular biology have signed a statement declaring there is "no scientific consensus on GMO safety." Their consensus is published in a reputable open access journal named Environmental Sciences Europe.

The statement is published here:

One of the signers is a former member of the Michelmore Lab at the UC Davis Genome Center from the University of California. She played a role in commercializing the world's first genetically modified crops. Today she is more wary of GMOs than ever before.

"I wholeheartedly support this thorough, thoughtful, and professional statement describing the lack of scientific consensus on the safety of genetically engineered crops and organisms," she says.

"Society's debate over how best to utilize the powerful technology of genetic engineering is clearly not over. For its supporters to assume it is, is little more than wishful thinking."

Blind adherence to untested GMOs is not science - it's religion

Progress in any scientific field can only occur if there is open dialogue. When the science is accepted as irrefutable or settled, then everyone is forced to accept it and follow along with it blindly. This turns science into dogma or religion and can lead humankind down a dangerous path. This is why scientists that manipulate the genetic sequence of food should be held to the highest level of scrutiny, questioning, and accountability. Playing with food genetics and not testing their long-term safety on human health and environment can have widespread consequences, especially with how quick and vast GMOs are subsidized and commercialized.

Coauthor of the statement, Nicolas Defarge is adamant about having standards and accountability when it comes to corporations unleashing genetically altered food into the market.

He says, "Progress in science occurs through controversial debate involving scientific arguments. Our statement, peer-reviewed and published in the open access literature, is now one of them. The debate about the health effects of the long-term consumption of GMOs and of the residues of pesticides they contain is ongoing. It can only be solved by further studies using accurate protocols enabling the investigation of long-term effects. These must be published in open access journals with the raw data being made available and not kept secret. We should bear in mind that the studies performed by industry to support the release of GMOs on the market are usually not peer-reviewed at the time the GMO is commercialized."

Jack Heinemann, Professor of Genetics and Molecular Biology at the Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand agrees that the biotech industry is secretive and is dodging legitimate questions about food safety.

He said, "Public confidence in GMOs will not increase as long as some scientists try to keep the public and other scientists from asking legitimate questions about their safety, efficacy and value. Even if all questions about existing GM plants were answered tomorrow, that would not mean that future products should be exempt from questioning and thorough testing. Instead of shouting, 'Don't look here, we have a consensus already', we should address the cause of public mistrust. This is best done by embracing open discussions of GMOs informed from a variety of points of view, acknowledging and including the true diversity of scientific opinions."

Consensus of GMO safety is based on faulty group-think, not scientific evidence

Another statement co-author, E. Ann Clark, who is a retired associate professor at the University of Guelph, Canada, says, "Groupthink is perhaps the best way to characterize claims of scientific consensus on the safety of GM crops. This phenomenon, explored by the research psychologist Irving Janis, refers to the irrational outcomes that result when pressures to conform within a like-minded group degrade mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment. Consensus claimers manifest striking consistency with Janis's symptoms of groupthink, including illusions of invulnerability, collective rationalization, and suppression of dissent. The reality is that there is no consensus on GMO safety. Strident and incessant claims of such a consensus must not override the urgent necessity for well reasoned and conducted research into the safety of GM crops."

Elena Alvarez-Buylla, Professor of Molecular Genetics at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), believes that GM crops should never be released based on mere industry group think. GMOs should not be released until they are proven safe, that way healthier food production systems can be introduced.

Professor Alvarez-Buylla says, "The spread of GMOs could cancel options for an agroecological, healthy and sustainable food production system and jeopardize centres of crop origin and diversification, thus putting at risk food security. Corporate agribusiness, with its reliance on GM crops and agrotoxic substances such as glyphosate, threaten food sovereignty and public health. There is an urgent need for a precautionary stance. We should avoid further releases of GM crops and their associated pesticides into the environment and food supply."



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