Vested interest fights back

Yesterday a French research team claimed exposure to the herbicide Roundup – produced by biotech giant Monsanto – caused tumours to develop in lab rats and led to premature death.

The Agricultural Biotechnology Council – a pro-GM body with many members who represent biotech companies – led the criticism

Not beyond reproach, The Guardian reported in 2010 that emails between the Agricultural Biotechnology Council and the Food Standards Agency (Lax oversight and failure to act) showed that the ABC inserted key sentences strengthening the case for GM food that ended up in the final report.

ABC chairman Dr Julian Little – previous experience in Rhone-Poulenc, Aventis and Bayer CropScience says:

“The plant biotechnology industry takes all health concerns regarding biotech food and feed very seriously and is committed to the highest standards of testing and safety for its products”, adding:

“An estimated two trillion meals containing GM ingredients have been eaten around the world over the last 13 years without a single substantiated case of ill-health.”

USA – which grows and eats GM food – at least keeps statistics. Is its record for congestive heart failure, cancers and diabetes a totally unrelated coincidence?

Its government website notes rises in cancer of the kidney and renal pelvis, thyroid, pancreas, liver, intrahepatic bile duct, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, childhood cancer, leukemia, testis, myeloma, and esophageal cancer.

Another government site records: an estimated 23.6 million people in the United States—7.8 percent of the population—have diabetes, a serious, lifelong condition.

Cases of Type 1 (WSJ) & 2 diabetes are rising, amongst children as well; If current trends continue, 1 of 3 U.S. adults will have diabetes by 2050, according to another US government website.

The European Food Safety Agency compromised by links with GM industry (see report) said it was aware of the new study:

“We will consider the paper’s relevance, taking into account the available scientific evidence including recent studies assessing, over a sustained period of time, the potential toxicity of foods derived from GM crops,” the body said.

Undaunted:

“It is time for the EU to act to protect public health,” said Mute Schimpf, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe. “On the basis of this research, national governments and the European Commission should immediately suspend all similar GM foods and halt all further GMO approvals.”

A spokesman for Monsanto said the company would “review [the study] thoroughly, as we do all studies that relate to our products and technologies”.
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Posted on September 20, 2012, in Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Government, Revolving door, Vested interests and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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