UK Royal Society Says More GMO Testing Needed

UK Royal Society Says More
GMO Testing Needed

Friends of the Earth International
Monday 4 February 2001


Safety checks on GM foods are inadequate and must be improved, the Royal
Society in the UK warned today (See web link for report:
txt ). The current system relies too heavily on a test of "substantial
equivalence". This means that a GM crop is assumed to be as safe as its
non-GM counterpart and therefore that no new tests are needed. Friends of
the Earth has called the findings "deeply disturbing" and says it highlights
the risks that the GM industry has been taking with the public's health.

Adrian Bebb, GM campaigner at Friends of the Earth, UK said:

"This deeply disturbing report raises serious concerns about the regulations
covering the growing of GM crops and the licensing of GM food. The safety
tests for introducing GM into the food chain are just not adequate, yet
these GM products are still on sale in the UK. The Government must now call
a moratorium on these foods."

Th Royal Society report follows the French government's announcement last
week that more health studies of engineered crops are needed.

"It comes as no surprise to hear Europeans call for more safety tests of
engineered crops. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's own scientific
advisors said last year that proteins engineered into corn could 'act as
allergenic sources'" said Larry Bohlen, Director of Health and Environment
Programs, Friends of the Earth, U.S. The concern was raised in a March 12,
2001 EPA Scientific Advisory Panel report but no government investigations
into allergenicity have been conducted since.

Adrian Bebb, UK, 0 44 7712 843 211 (mob)
Larry Bohlen, U.S., 01 202 783 7400 ext. 251

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