EC approved GM crops despite safety fears (18/4/2006)

1.EC approved GM crops despite safety fears - Telegraph
2.The EC is accused of approving products despite safety concerns - BBC

1.EC approved GM crops despite safety fears
The Daily Telegraph, 18/04/2006

The European Commission approved a range of GM foods and crops despite having serious doubts over their health and environmental impacts, according to new documents released by green charities.

Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth said the documents revealed scientific arguments put forward behind closed doors in the European Commission's recent GM trade dispute.

The groups have called for the immediate suspension in the use and sale of all GM foods and crops until the safety issues have been addressed.

In the documents, the Commission argues that there were "large areas of uncertainty about the health risks posed by GM produce," and that "some issues have not yet been studied at all."

The papers also say "there simply is no way of ascertaining whether the introduction of GM products has had any other effect on human health," and "no unique, absolute, scientific cut off threshold available to decide whether a GM product is safe or not."

Among other revelations, the documents suggested ther were huge disagreements between the Commission and the European Food Safety Authority, the agency that is responsible for GM risk assessments.

At the same time as the Commission wrote and submitted these documents to the World Trade Organisation highlighting safety concerns it approved seven GM foods, despite a lack of support from the majority of EC member states.

Clare Oxborrow, a Friends of the Earth GM Campaigner, said: "This is a political scandal. The European Commission must call a halt to the sale and growth of all genetically modified food and crops given the serious concerns over their safety that have come to light.

"When the EU Commission broke the moratorium and forced GM foods into Europe, it told the public they were safe. But the Commission clearly knew this was not the case and was prepared to recognise the risk behind closed doors. The UK Government must now reveal whether it had access to these documents and whether it voted in support of GM foods while knowing the risks they posed."

2.The EC is accused of approving products despite safety concerns
BBC News, 17 April 2006

Two environmental groups say they have documents which show a double standard on the safety of genetically-modified organisms in the European Commission.

Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace accuse the commission of telling the public GMOs are safe but admitting to safety concerns in a report.

The two groups are citing a report submitted by the commission to the World Trade Organisation.

The European Commission is the EU's executive body.

'Scientific uncertainty'

Friends of the Earth Europe and Greenpeace are accusing the European Commission of approving GM crops and foods despite serious doubts over their impact on health and the environment.

Using freedom of information rules, they obtained the commission's report to the World Trade Organisation, which is hearing a complaint against European bans on GMOs.

The report warns that there are still large areas of scientific uncertainty and disagreement, and that based on current data there is no way to rule out the development of cancer or allergies as a result of GMOs.

It raises concerns about weeds and insects becoming resistant to the toxins in GM crops, and it warns that GM plants like oilseed rape and sugar beet can easily cross with their wild relatives.

Just two weeks ago the EU agriculture commissioner repeated that no GM products were approved unless they were completely safe.

But those assurances are not getting through. In a recent EU poll, nearly two-thirds said they were worried about the safety of GM foods.

Go to a Print friendly Page

Email this Article to a Friend

Back to the Archive