Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Genetically Modified Organisms in Food and Pharmaceuticals

The entities involved in gene research state that their resultant products are safe but that is a supposition not a fact.

With scant due diligence, a National Academy of Sciences task force determined in 1987 that gene splicing posed no "unique risk." In the professionals' viewpoint there was no evidence of "hazards peculiar" to the technology. This optimistic assessment did not hold—gene manipulation carries serious risks.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a unit of the USDA, is responsible for ensuring that experimental, genetically-altered, organisms do not escape their test sites and that they are destroyed post examination.

According to the Inspector General's '05 audit, APHIS's oversight over the past several decades has been perfunctory . Prior to 2006 the government had approved over 10,000 applications for more than 49,000 field sites of GM plants. The OIG found that:
weaknesses in APHIS’ regulations and internal management controls increase the risk that regulated GM organisms will inadvertently enter the environment before the agency considers them sufficiently harmless to merit unregulated status.
The agency considers certain GM crops to pose a high risk, such as plants engineered to produce pharmaceutical and industrial compounds, or plants engineered with human genes.
The debate is complex and presently there is no consensus as to the safety of GMO science but it should be considered that the government and their corporate overlords were silent while conducting GMO trials during the 70s. Gene research went into overdrive in 1976 when patents were granted for these creations.

American consumers became the first genetically-altered food test subjects in 1994 when Flavr Savr tomatoes were introduced. Today 88% of corn and 93% of soybean crops have been genetically modified and most of this product is unlabeled and flows into processed foods.

In 1989 consumers learned that their pharmaceuticals were subject to genetic engineering following the L-trypophan tragedy. In this extensively investigated case researchers found that the L-trypophan product manufactured by the Showa Denko company in Japan had been genetically modified with B. amyloliquefaciens Strain V, which likely caused the death of 37 Americans and permanent disability for 1,500 others. For further information please read " An Investigation of the Cause of the Eosinophilia–Myalgia Syndrome Associated with Tryptophan Use " by the New England Journal of Medicine.

It is understood that genetically modified organisms will continue to impact food, drugs and soon animals. This month the NYTs reported that some biotech companies hope to escape regulation by using gene guns rather than bacterium to achieve results.

In December 2013 Jim Hagedorn, Scotts chief executive, told analysts:
If you take genetic material from a plant and it’s not considered a pest, and you don’t use a transformation technology that would sort of violate the rules, there’s a bunch of stuff you can do that at least technically is unregulated. The company has created a stunning array of products that are not regulated
We nor they know the consequences of these GMO clinical trials but we do have the right to know that our consumables have been genetically redefined.

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