Sally Goldstein MS RD CDN LD
This is a very controversial topic that has many people wondering if these foods are safe for human consumption.
First of all, let’s define them. Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), are organisms whose genetic makeup has been changed. The latest news on GMOs is a study released in May 2016 by the National Academy of Sciences. It concluded GMOs cause no more health problems than other foods. The study, gathered from 20 years of data on the topic, found GMO’s safe for consumption, stating that there is no difference in cancer rates or chronic illnesses from when Americans first started to consume these types of foods.
Yet several experts believe this not to be true. Some of them considered it too early to reach this conclusion, while others criticized the expertise of the 20 experts in charge of the study, stating that not all of them had sufficient knowledge on the subject. According to the NY Times, “there was no-one from crop biotechnology companies like Monsanto or DuPont on the committee, though some members have developed genetically engineered crops and might have been consultants to the companies”. This newspaper also added that based on chemical analyses of the foods and on animal feeding studies, the study concluded GMO’s to be safe, however it said “many animal studies are too small to provide firm conclusions”.
Reaching a conclusion is not easy. The discussion is fierce with GMO supporters assuring us these crops are safe, while GMO detractors believe they are not. What we all can agree on is that this is a hard question, with an inconclusive answer. At the end of the day GMOs do not appear to cause cancer and are maybe neither as good nor as bad as both sides of the question would have us to think.
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