Biotech companies claim that GMO foods are strictly regulated. The reality is that such regulation is either weak or non-existent.
- No GMO food has ever been certified as safe by the FDA.
- Biotech companies, not government agencies, conduct research on new GMO crops.
- The standard for GMO safety is completely arbitrary: GMOs are considered as safe as conventional products if they have, for example, the same nutritional value. However, what is actually being measured is carbohydrate value, not nutritional value. This criteria does nothing to prove safety or consistency.
- Biotech companies are always looking for backdoor ways to release new GMO crops onto the market with minimal preapproval. Take, for example, the case of Codex and biofortification.
Despite warnings from its own scientists, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed a policy that does not require any safety testing or labeling of GM products.
The basis for GMO safety is the use of a concept called “substantial equivalence,” which assumes that foods possessing similar amounts of the basic components (fat, protein, carbohydrates) are essentially the same. This standard was proposed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international trade group, not a scientific one.“Substantial equivalence” has been criticized by numerous scientists. GMO crops are not “substantially equivalent” to regular crops because GE crop technology thwarts the natural reproductive process. Because it shares genetic combinations across different species, it circumvents the mechanisms which nature has built in to protect against dangerous combinations.Another way GMOs are not substantially equivalent is that GE soy, canola, corn, and experimental rice varieties have nutritional, size, and textural differences.
Biofortification is the breeding of crops to increase their nutritional value and can either be achieved conventionally—via traditional breeding techniques—or through genetic engineering. The global Codex Committee is currently considering whether to set standards on biofortification, and if so, how to define it. Essentially, this could be a backdoor way to release new GMO crops onto the international market without any regulation or labeling.