Food myth: Genetically modified foods can cause cancer
What’s the bottom line? There is nothing to say about GMO and cancer – and this is the most important scientific fact about GM foods
The first GMO food (the Flavr Savr tomato) was sold in 1994. Genetically modified food has never been used as a food before; this food has been modified by genetic manipulation, technology that has not previously been used for food. A more 20 years… just not enough to say anything about long-term effects on human health. No one, including scientists and the growers of GMO foods, knows what will happen in the future.
Genetically modified foods have not passed the time test!
Although GMO varieties of corn, soya, sugar beets and canola have become widely spread worldwide, there is general scientific agreement that food on the market from genetically modified crops is not inherently riskier to human health than conventional food.
Genetically modified foods
Genetically modified foods are foods produced from genetically modified organisms (plants or animals) that have had changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. Genetically modified foods, or GM foods, or genetically engineered foods, or biotechnology-derived foods are the same.
The danger of GMO foods is NOT proven
Health authorities of Canada, US and many European countries (where safety food testing is well established to address the potential risks associated with foods) are not aware of any published scientific evidence demonstrating that GM foods are any less safe than traditional foods. In fact, foods from genetically modified plants are subject to a far higher level of regulatory oversight and of scientific requirements than traditionally bred plants. Each new GM crops are subject to a thorough and robust food safety assessment before they are allowed on the market. To date, no study has caused scientists to alter their conclusions about any previously authorized GM food product. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that genetically modified foods can cause cancer or other health problems. No reports of ill effects from GM foods have been documented.
The safety of GMO foods is NOT proven
On the other hand, the safety of GMO foods is unproven either. That’s why a growing number of studies connect these foods with health concerns and environmental issues. Many developed countries have policies requiring mandatory labeling of foods at the very least. Many do not have. For instance, the US Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada do not require labeling, nor do they recognize a distinction between approved GMO and non-GMO foods.
Again: Genetically modified foods have not passed the time test!
Knowing if GMO ingredients are in the food people eat is the basic right for making informed food choices, and also it is behind the growing movement to have GMO foods labeled.
Controversy of GM Foods
Today, more than 90% of our corn and soy are genetically modified. GM foods are controversial and the subject of protests, vandalism, referenda, legislation, court action and scientific disputes. The controversies involve consumers, biotechnology companies, governmental regulators, non-governmental organizations and scientists. The key areas are whether GM food should be labeled, the role of government regulators, the effect of GM crops on health and the environment, the effects of pesticide use and resistance, the impact on farmers, and their roles in feeding the world.
Look for GMO-free labels whenever possible or buy organic (which always means a product is not genetically modified). Just because better safe than sorry.