Very interesting article. Looks like there are some big divisions within the FDA regarding GMO, but don't take my word for it; read the article.
FDA Ignored Own Scientists’ Warnings About GM Food Safety
Internal US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) documents reveal that the agency’s own scientists expressed doubts about its policy toward labeling genetically modified foods, while raising questions about the foods’ safety.
The FDA’s policy toward genetically modified foods has been that they are “substantially equivalent” to conventional foods and therefore don’t require special labels—unlike most other industrialized nations that require labeling.
“Profound difference” between GM and conventional foods
FDA’s policy, established in 1992, states, “The agency is not aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new (genetic engineering) methods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way, or that, as a class, foods developed by the new technologies present any different or greater safety concern than foods developed by traditional plant breeding.”
But FDA internal documents released in the late 1990s during a lawsuit against the agency show that the FDA’s own scientists had serious doubts about GM foods when the policy was being established.
In a February 1992 memo, Louis J. Pribyl, Ph.D., a scientist in the FDA’s Microbiology Group, critiqued a draft of the policy by writing, “There is a profound difference between the types of unexpected effects from traditional breeding and genetic engineering which is just glanced over in this document.” Dr. Pribyl added that “several aspects of gene insertion may be more hazardous than traditional plant crossbreeding.”
Linda Kahl, Ph.D., an FDA compliance officer, objected that the agency was, “trying to fit a square peg into a round hole [by] trying to force an ultimate conclusion that there is no difference between foods modified by genetic engineering and foods modified by traditional breeding practices.” She continued, “The processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding are different, and according to the technical experts in the agency, they lead to different risks.”
E.J. Matthews, Ph.D., of the FDA’s Toxicology group warned in an October 1991 memo, “genetically modified plants could also contain unexpected high concentrations of plant toxicants.”
In a November 1991 memo to James Maryanski, Ph.D., the agency’s Biotechnology Coordinator, FDA’s Division of Food Chemistry and Technology cautioned, “it would be necessary to demonstrate that edible seed and oils produced from genetically engineered plants do not contain unintended potentially harmful substances at levels that would cause concern.”
GM foods on the market illegally
According to Steven M. Druker, an attorney and executive director of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity, “Numerous agency experts protested that drafts of the statement of policy were ignoring the recognized potential for bioengineering to produce unexpected toxins and allergens.”
Druker coordinated the lawsuit against the FDA’s GM food policy in 1998, which aimed to force the agency to establish mandatory labeling and safety testing of GM foods.
The plaintiffs argued that FDA violated the US Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which mandates that new food additives be established safe through testing prior to marketing. The FDA claims that GM foods are exempt from testing because they are “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS in FDA shorthand). According to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, foods can only be recognized as safe on the basis of tests that establish their harmlessness. Druker claims no such tests exist for GM foods.
Several FDA scientists emphasized the lack of scientific data to recognize the safety of GM foods. In her response to the draft of the policy statement, Kahl wrote, “Are we asking the scientific experts to generate the basis for this policy statement in the absence of any data?” She continued, “There is no data that could quantify risk.”
According to Druker, “The FDA is using the GRAS exemption to circumvent testing and to approve substances based largely on conjecture that is dubious in the eyes of its own and many experts. Consequently, every genetically engineered food in the US is on the market illegally and should be recalled for vigorous safety testing.”
“If Americans want progress, they’ll have to be guinea pigs”
Philip J. Regal, emeritus professor of ecology, evolution, and behavior at the University of Minnesota and a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said he knew several FDA scientists who were “disgusted” with the policy.
During the early 1980s, Regal was asked to help the government establish a system of regulating genetically modified foods. He said policy development favored biotech companies.
“The bureaucrats were under pressure from the White House to help the biotech industry, which was against regulation and thought it would be too expensive,” Regal said. “The result was no regulatory system, just a sham.”
According to Regal, FDA knew about the risks of GM foods before they drafted policy guidelines, but decided it was up to the industry to deal with them. He said a common phrase heard at the time was, “if Americans want progress, they’ll have to be the guinea pigs.”
When he saw GM foods appearing on the market, Regal said, “it was all I could take,” and became a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
In 2000 a US District Court ruled against the plaintiffs and upheld FDA’s policy, which remains in effect today.
Druker believes the labeling issue is secondary to the fact that GM foods are on the market illegally. “By merely demanding labeling, it amplifies the impression that these products are legally on the market. As I see it, that’s taking a weaker approach than the facts support and warrant; and it surrenders a lot of leverage.”
So no matter how many companies, businesses , authorities our responsibility is just talk about GMO food no matter how well educated or ignorant is the people around us, the same way we talk about IPHONE !S and tell about the good and innovative are IPHONE also mention about GMO pane tell people what it is about this NEW FOOD products .In fact lately when invited to eat and people serve CORN I do not eat and that is my chance to have a simple conversation about GMO, knowing that 80 o/100 of corn in America is GMO product., cereals and many corn products and giving reason why obesity and illnesses in kids and people with not reason but from consuming Not Natural Food.I FOUND out no matter the level of education, parents and people start taking action.
you are one sick individual and need help! Note how the FDA was 'again' proven right, and more time and money was wasted! Get a life dude....if you feel so strongly call your Congress person or blab on tv, or debate somewhere, but this is not the place. I wish Monsanto would sue you for trying to influence my investment decision on the short side. Wait a minute, I think the Forbes blog does that too, on biotech stocks as proven on ZIOP last Friday....I may have a lawsuit coming there soon! A blogger/writer posted a totally bogus article and the stock dropped well over 20%, and people got mad, and the company got mad and put out a logical PR stating the article was totally bogus, and the article was quickly removed, and I bet lawsuits are coming! :-))
Every article I've posted comes from the internet. Get a life. It is your choice to believe something or not. Just take a look at the Presidential debates. Each side spins it one way or the other. I agree it is difficult to find the truth at times. I have already written my Congress person and will exercise my right to freedom of speech. You don't have to agree with me, no one has a gun pointed to your head. I have no interest short or long in Monsanto. In fact, I only own three stocks in my entire portfolio and they have nothing to do with Monsanto. IMO, I doubt any message posted on any of these boards will cause a stock to go down. Evidently, you've been burned by some article that you call bogus that was posted on as a "news" item. Yes, I agree with you that those types of articles can create a big impact either up or down for a stock. If you think my posting of articles on a message board will influence a stock you are out of your mind. Not only that, but you would have to sue virtually ALL of the message board posters out there. All I'm doing is saying, "hey I've found this article on the internet, check it out." Then I express my opinion on it. You are free to disagree with the article and my opinion. That is called free speech. I am not purposely putting any false information on the internet. If it is false, it was already put there by someone else. If you believe everything that is put on the internet as true then you have a big problem.