December 29, 2014

This is in response to "Petition opposes modern agriculture" (WCR letters, Dec 15) and in defence of CCODP. The current issue of Turning Point (Fall 2014, page 8), the publication of Physicians for Global Survival, raises some pertinent questions concerning genetically-modified foods.

Although the aim of GM food is to provide enough food to feed the world's ever increasing population and to improve the quality of our food, has the safety of this food in humans been thoroughly researched?

Why have many countries in the world banned GM foods? If it is so safe, why in North America is it allowed in our food chain without labeling so that consumers cannot identify genetically modified products?

In fact, the article points out that some animal studies and one human study have shown that toxins or elements of genetically modified DNA present in the GM plant cells appear in the blood and organs hours later.

Further, some studies on animals have shown changes to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

Also, there is scientific concern that antibiotic resistant genes in GM food could create even more superbugs in gut and soil bacteria. There is evidence that the use of Roundup with genetically-modified food has serious health implications.

The article concludes by recognizing that GM technology has provided much benefit in terms of medications and vaccines.

However, "the flooding of North American markets with GM foods without proper testing, labeling and surveillance is not in the interest of human health."

For further information and references check (http://pgs.ca/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/TurningPoint1411_webemail.pdf.)

Jim Penna
Saskatoon, Sask.