Food science expert: Genetically modified crops are overregulated

Feb 18, 2013

It has been almost 20 years since the first genetically modified foods showed up in produce aisles throughout the United States and the rest of the world, but controversy continues to surround the products and their regulation.

Bruce Chassy, a professor emeritus of food science and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, believes that after thousands of research studies and worldwide planting, "genetically modified foods pose no special risks to consumers or the environment" and are overregulated.

Chassy will elaborate on this conclusion at the 2013 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston on Feb. 17. During his talk, "Regulating the Safety of Foods and Feeds Derived From Genetically Modified Crops," Chassy will share his view that the overregulation of GM crops actually hurts the environment, reduces global health and burdens the consumer.

Farmers have witnessed the advantages of GM crops firsthand through increases in their yields and profit, and decreases in their labor, energy consumption, and , Chassy said.

Despite these benefits, various regulatory agencies require newly developed GM crops to be put to the test with rigorous safety evaluations that include molecular characterization, toxicological evaluation, allergenicity assessments, compositional analysis and feeding studies. This extensive testing takes five to 10 years and costs tens of millions of dollars, and Chassy argues that this process "wastes resources and diverts attention from real food safety issues."

"With more than half of the world's population now living in countries that have adopted GM crops, it might be appropriate to reduce the regulatory scrutiny of to a level that is commensurate with science-based risk assessment," Chassy said.

During his talk, Chassy will chronicle the scientific tests used in pre-market safety assessments of and elaborate on the evidence from thousands of research studies and expansive GM plantings that he says show these crops do not present risks to consumers or the environment. The overregulation of GM foods is a response not to scientific evidence, Chassy said, but to a global campaign that disseminates misinformation and fear about these sources.

Explore further: The origin of the language of life

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

What farmers think about GM crops

Feb 24, 2008

Farmers are upbeat about genetically modified crops, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

France asks EU to suspend GM crop authorisation

Feb 20, 2012

France's ecology ministry said Monday it had asked European regulators to suspend authorisation for the use of genetically modified MON 810 maize crops from US company Monsanto based on new studies.

10% more GM crops in the world in 2010: study

Feb 22, 2011

The amount of the world's farmland given over to genetically modified (GM) crops grew 10% last year, with the United States remaining the biggest zone for the altered produce, according to a study released ...

Recommended for you

The origin of the language of life

Dec 19, 2014

The genetic code is the universal language of life. It describes how information is encoded in the genetic material and is the same for all organisms from simple bacteria to animals to humans. However, the ...

Quest to unravel mysteries of our gene network

Dec 18, 2014

There are roughly 27,000 genes in the human body, all but a relative few of them connected through an intricate and complex network that plays a dominant role in shaping our physiological structure and functions.

EU court clears stem cell patenting

Dec 18, 2014

A human egg used to produce stem cells but unable to develop into a viable embryo can be patented, the European Court of Justice ruled on Thursday.

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Lurker2358
3.2 / 5 (6) Feb 18, 2013
"With more than half of the world's population now living in countries that have adopted GM crops, it might be appropriate to reduce the regulatory scrutiny of GM crops to a level that is commensurate with science-based risk assessment," Chassy said.


Seeing as how it is known that genes often have more than one function, and in many cases there is no way to know what unknown functions may arise when such genes are placed into an alien organism(our food,) then it is prudent, and very much scientific, to do all manner of safety testing on any GM food.

Running blindly ahead with your new GM crop or fish is not scientific, it's corporate greed.

Every time one of these crops is created it permanently alters the world biosphere by introducing a life form which has never previously existed.
antialias_physorg
3.4 / 5 (5) Feb 18, 2013
I'd just be happy if all foodstuffs that are GM products (and any processed foodstuffs that have GM products somewhere along the line - starting from the animal feed) were labeled as such.

Then the consumer could choose whether to accept any type of risk or not.
Caliban
5 / 5 (2) Feb 18, 2013
I'd just be happy if all foodstuffs that are GM products (and any processed foodstuffs that have GM products somewhere along the line - starting from the animal feed) were labeled as such.

Then the consumer could choose whether to accept any type of risk or not.


This would probably be enough to curb the hubris of the BioAg producers -at least in the short term- and is precisely why they spent so much money to defeat various GMO labeling initiatives here in the US.

However, Washington State voters were able to pass a labeling initiative, and other states will soon follow.

In the meantime, it is much cheaper and perhaps more effective for BioAg interests to continue to fund and promote the work of shills like this guy and the English guy, who, while parading their credentials to provide their statements with the semblance of veracity, conveniently ignore masses of evidence that directly contradict their claims of GMO safety.

It's the same methodology employed by BigCarbon.
Kev_C
3 / 5 (2) Feb 19, 2013
Funny thing about labelling. Its no good. It will work for the short term but the biotech industry will keep flooding the environment with GMO's which will contaminate every food source around and it won't mater a jot if the label says GMO or not. There won't be any NO GMO food available. Then what?
Best solution is to ban biotechnology in all its forms and send the scientists in this field to a dark distant black hole in space.
But wait! They will say that is cruel and barbaric.
Better ask the Chinese about that when they tell you about the antibiotic resistant bacteria in their major water courses that has been cross contaminated with GMO bacteria used in the GMO crops as the antibiotic marker.
Oops! Death anyone? You won't believe just how many of the currently available antibiotics have now been rendered useless by this phenomenon. And do you know what it is called?
Horizontal gene transfer.
So much for there not being any problems with GMO food. :-)
Now who is being barbaric?
Kev_C
3 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2013
To add fuel to the fire here is an interesting link to the man of the article Professor Chassey. Seems he has a certain team brand loyalty. Now there's a surprise.

http://www.gmwatc...policies

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.