Are GM-crops safe?
Onde são cultivadas, as culturas transgénicas ou geneticamente modificadas (GM) implicam maior aplicação de herbicidas, a expansão das monoculturas e o aumento de custos ao longo de toda a cadeia alimentar. Os impactos sociais, ambientais e económicos são graves – contribuindo para que pequenos agricultores percam as suas terras – e não há qualquer redução da fome no mundo. Mas quem decide se as sementes transgénicas podem ser cultivadas na Europa, e como é que são autorizadas?
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is responsible for the scientific assessment of risks associated with these crops, and its opinion holds weight in both national governments and the European Commission, who take the final decisions about approving a new GM-crop. However, the GM-crops currently in the pipeline will not be assessed strictly enough to guarantee that they will be safe for humans and the environment.
Current EU law allows studies on GM-crops to be carried out by the same companies who produce the crops themselves, not by independent laboratories. This calls into question the quality of data and whether it is biased or flawed; after all, a company won’t submit research that shows any problems with its products.
In addition, the panel of scientists responsible for GM-crops within EFSA includes people with links to the biotech industry, a clear conflict of interest, and key parts of the assessment criteria were developed by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) – a lobby group funded by companies including Monsanto, BASF and Syngenta. So far, every GM-crop reviewed by EFSA has been given a positive assessment, in stark contrast to the opinion of experts in national food safety agencies, and independent experts.
Both a questionable risk assessment of the new GM-crops, and the opaque decision-making process to agree on GM-crop cultivation, seriously call into question the agenda of the European Commission and EFSA – are they concerned more about the profits of industry, or the protection of public health and the environment?
People in 18 countries across Europe have been found to have traces of the weed killer glyphosate in their urine, show the results of tests commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe and released today.
The findings raise concerns about increasing levels of exposure to glyphosate-based weed killers, commonly used by farmers, public authorities and gardeners across Europe. The use of glyphosate is predicted to rise further if more genetically modified (GM) crops are grown in Europe.
(Reuters) - Pigs fed a diet of only genetically modified grain showed markedly higher stomach inflammation than pigs who dined on conventional feed, according to a new study by a team of Australian scientists and U.S. researchers.
The European Commission is currently considering reviving talks on 25 new GM-crops for cultivation in Europe – including crops resistant to the pesticide RoundUp and insecticide-producing varieties of GM maize, soybean and sugarbeet. The groups claim that such a move would drastically change farming in Europe, leading to a big increase in pesticide use, contamination of conventional and organic crops and further industrialisation of the countryside.
A case study from Brazilian soybean production on the impacts of pesticide use and the emergence of glyphosate resistant weeds. From Meyer D. E. and Cederberg Ch and the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology.
A register documenting over 300 cases of contamination worldwide.
The pesticide industry and EU regulators have known since the 1980s and 90s that Roundup, the world's best selling herbicide, causes birth defects – but have failed to inform the public.
This report, co-authored by international scientists and researchers, reveals that the GM-industry’s own studies (including research commissioned by Monsanto) showed that Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate causes birth defects in laboratory animals.
About the Stop the Crop campaign
This website and film present some of the dangers of GM-crops, and call for people across Europe and beyond to take action to stop them. We need a future of food and farming that benefits people and planet, and not the pockets of big business. We need to stop GM-crops from spreading across Europe. You can sign up for updates and alerts opposite.