GE foods are illegal

GE foods are illegal

Today, the FDA admits that the various genetic materials implanted in bioengineered organisms are within the amendment’s purview, but claims they are exempt from testing because they are generally recognized as safe (GRAS).

Today, the FDA admits that the various genetic materials implanted in bioengineered organisms are within the amendment’s purview, but claims they are exempt from testing because they are generally recognized as safe (GRAS).

by Mary Budinger — 

 

After 15 years of legal investigation, Steven Druker details in his recently acclaimed book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, how government intrigue and corporate power have teamed up to ignore the law and give the go-ahead for genetically engineered (GE) crops. He wants us to know that GE foods, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), are illegal. “If you label them, you are giving tacit approval for them to remain on the market,” he says. “We need to demand that the federal government follow the law and take GE foods off the market because they were never legal to begin with.”

Druker is a public interest attorney who filed a lawsuit against the FDA to force it to open the files revealing its approval process that initially opened the door to GE corn, soy, canola, cottonseed and sugar beet crops.

It all started in the 1950s when the U.S. Congress passed the Food Additive Amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. This amendment instituted a precautionary approach and required that new food additives must be demonstrated safe before they go to market. “While Congress did not want to unnecessarily stifle technological advances, it nevertheless intended that additives created through new technologies be proven safe before they go to market,” stated a GE foods clarifying Senate report in 1958.

Today, the FDA admits that the various genetic materials implanted in bioengineered organisms are within the amendment’s purview, but claims they are exempt from testing because they are generally recognized as safe (GRAS). However, FDA regulations state that substances added to food that were not in use prior to 1958 cannot qualify as GRAS unless they are acknowledged as safe by an overwhelming consensus of experts, a consensus based on “scientific procedures,” which ordinarily entail studies published in peer-reviewed journals.

“GE foods fail both requirements,” Druker explained. “There is substantial dispute among experts about their safety today. And even as the FDA was developing its policy on GE foods during the early 1990s, there was no consensus among its own experts.

“The predominant opinion was that these new foods entail unique risks — especially the potential for unintended harmful side effects that are difficult to detect — and that none can be considered safe unless they have passed rigorous tests capable of screening for such effects.”

Druker’s book tour brought him to Phoenix in November at the request of GMO Free Arizona. He said he is especially pleased with the book’s reception in the scientific community. “I am getting more and more opportunities to speak at universities to people with academic influence,” he said. “The people have been getting a one-sided story. We all want to defer to the scientific community, but so many scientists do not understand the GE whole process — it is very complicated. Peer pressure and fear can create an environment where people go along because they have to pay their mortgages.”

The book, however, has enabled some scientists to speak up, he finds. “As one told us, the book gives them the strength to come forward in number and get grants to pursue the scientific research they would like to do. In the past, when a respectable scientist with significant credentials came forward, they just got squashed by the industry. Take Séralini for example.”

Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini’s team at the University of Caen, France, essentially mimicked the early Monsanto study where rats were fed GE corn. However, Monsanto only ran its study for 90 days. Séralini ran the study for the life of the rats and found that after 90 days, the animals developed severe organ damage and cancerous tumors. Most of Séralini’s loudest critics were later found to have links to the GE industry.

“Most Americans, including those who serve in government, are unaware that GE foods are on the market only because the FDA has covered up the warnings of its own scientists, misrepresented the facts and violated explicit mandates of U.S. law,” Druker said.

“Most Americans, including those who serve in government, are unaware that GE foods are on the market only because the FDA has covered up the warnings of its own scientists, misrepresented the facts and violated explicit mandates of U.S. law,” Druker said.

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth is a self-published book. “It takes about a year longer to get a book out without a commercial publisher, but it is worth it,” said Druker. “Publishers and agents want to rewrite or make something more ‘commercial.’ I did not want that. We had a team of scientific advisors who helped edit and vet the book with us to ensure that every twist and turn was accurately portrayed. This is extremely complicated technology, and even geneticists do not understand it all.”

Primatologist Jane Goodall, renowned for her work with chimpanzees, wrote the forward to the book. She commends Druker for “dispelling the confusion and delusion that has been created regarding the genetic engineering process and the foods it produces. He deserves at least a Nobel prize.”

Robert Fraley, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Monsanto, contacted Goodall after the book came out in March of 2015. Fraley said he has always admired her work, but she was mistaken about GMOs, and he sent her a pamphlet.

Goodall and Druker looked at that pamphlet, noted a number of mistakes, and Druker challenged Fraley to find anything wrong with his book. Fraley never responded, and that pamphlet has since been removed from Monsanto’s website. A radio station in Chicago has invited both Fraley and Druker to participate in a debate. Fraley has not responded.

“Most Americans, including those who serve in government, are unaware that GE foods are on the market only because the FDA has covered up the warnings of its own scientists, misrepresented the facts and violated explicit mandates of U.S. law,” Druker said. “It is the biggest scientific fraud of our age.

“The FDA and other GE proponents have created so much confusion that, although U.S. food safety law in regard to GE foods is much stricter than EU law, most people are under the illusion it is weaker — and do not realize that these inadequately tested foods have entered the American market, not due to the law’s failings, but to the FDA’s failure to obey it. Americans need to demand that the laws of the United States be upheld.”

 

Mary Budinger is a certified nutritional therapy consultant and an Emmy-award winning journalist who writes and teaches about nutrition and integrative medicine. 602-494-1999.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 6, December 2015/January 2016.

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