Irish Doctors Worry About GE Allergies in Children & Other Hazards
The next time a so-called scientist makes the claim that there have been no adverse health effects from GM foods ask them which epidemiological studies they are referring to ..... but don't hold your breath for a response. If there are such studies out� there we have yet to hear of them.
In this context the report below on increased soya allergies in the Irish Republic is especially interesting as it would appear to mirror the experience in the United Kingdom which encountered an unprecidented 50% increase in soy allergies following the introduction of GM soya into the food chain (see:http://www.netlink.de/gen/Zeitung/1999/990312.htm).
"The need for careful monitoring is urgent, given that the introduction of thousands of GM foods on a global scale appears imminent, says Suzanne Wuerthele, a risk assessor at the US Environmental Protection Agency, speaking in a personal capacity.
This view is supported by Ben Miflin, former director of the Institute of Arable Crops at Rothamsted, near London, who is a proponent of the potential benefits of genetic modification of crops. He argues that, under current monitoring conditions, any unanticipated health impact of such foods would need to be a 'monumental disaster' to be detectable".
Nature, Volume 398:651 April 22, 1999
(http://www.natural-law.ca/genetic/NewsJuly-Aug99/GEN8-15NaturUkUprootUSA.ht ml ).
NATURAL LAW PARTY WESSEX
THE IRISH TIMES ON THE WEB Tuesday, March 13, 2001
Doctors criticize� report on GM foods
By Gillian N� Cheallaigh
A group called the Irish Doctors' Environmental Association has described as "unbelievable" conclusions on the safety of genetically modified foods, made in a Government-commissioned re port published last week.
The group of 40 Irish GPs, specialists and consultants is to meet the EU Food Safety Commissioner, Mr David Byrne, soon. They will demand a ban on all genetically modified foods, unless they are proved to be safe for human consumption.
"We take issue with what's in the report," said Dr Elizabeth Cullen, co-chair of the group yesterday, challenging all three grounds on which the Report of the Inter-Departmental Group on Modern Biotechnology based its conclusion that GM foods pose no threat to human health.
The group is also "very, very disappointed" that the report does not recommend the establishment of a register of diseases thought to be linked to GM foods.
Dr Cullen said the group met the Minister for the Environment, Mr Dempsey, "ages ago" to request a register, and he told them he would bring it to the attention of the inter-departmental group.
A motion is to be proposed at the upcoming Irish Medical Organisation annual general meeting in April reiterating this call to the Minister.
Rejecting the report's contention that "the scientific evidence about the safety of current GM food products is supported by the absence of reports of adverse effects from their consumption", Dr Cullen said: "The complete lack of labelling means it's virtually impossible to trace back possible allergies."
She said there had been a recent increase of allergies to soya among Irish children, and there was no way to tell if it was related to foods containing GM soya products, because there is no obligation to label them under EU law.
According to Dr Cullen, the study of epidemiology compares the reactions of exposed individuals to suspect influences such as food, with those of unexposed individuals, to determine any adverse effects. "This is impossible to do with the present labelling system," she said.
The group is opposed to the recent European Union Directive on GM Organisms that allows the deliberate release of GMOs into the environment under licence. The directive does not impose any obligation to label foods� containing GMO ingredients. The Government has not included itself in a group of EU nations forming a de facto block on GMOs despite the new legislation.
Some processed food products sold in the State, particularly those originating in the United States where there are 70 million acres of GM crops for food production, contain GM soya ingredients, and many carry no labelling.
The report states that genetically modified "soya bean products such as oil, flour, and lecithin are used in a wide variety of processed foods" currently on sale here.
The group is concerned about the potential for antibiotic resistance as a result of GM foods in our daily diet, and the increasing levels of toxins they introduce into food.