GMO PSYCHOSIS
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But here in Europe 
we have been suffering 
from what might be called 
"GMO psychosis". 

David BYRNE
Commissionaire for Health and Consumer protection
European Voice Conference "Farm to Fork" 
Brussels, 22 November 2001

HOW (and by whom) THE "GMO PSYCHOSIS" IS GENERATED

Opponents of GMO are of two types: one is looking for possible risks, studies them and eventually publishes results supported by scientific facts. The other type constructs a set of statements of pseudoreligious character - they have to be accepted as true and if facts show opposite, it is bad luck for facts - such facts are dismissed.

Five scientific studies showed two years ago that Bt corn in field conditions does not harm monarch butterfly, but certain pressure group keeps repeating that it "kills harmless butterflies". This is calculated for the effect on lay public that does not read scientific journals.

Short time ago Royal Society declared the safety of GMO-derived food. Society of Toxicology 'Position Paper' (http://www.toxicology.org/Information/governmentmedia/GMOPaper.doc) stated the same. Nevertheless, the pressure group is repeating that GMO-derived food represent a risk for human health.

Below we bring an analysis of the hypothesis that the selection genes coding for the tolerance to antibiotics could be transferred from the plant to the gut bacteria. We shall see how the pressure groups will change the faith codex of their propaganda.

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FOOD STANDARD AGENCY:
Extremely low' risk of GM transfer
Thursday, 11 July 2002

A series of FSA research projects have concluded that it is extremely unlikely that genes from genetically modified (GM) food can end up in bacteria in the gut of people who eat them.

The Agency's independent advisers on genetically modified foods had expressed concern about the presence of a particular gene (an antibiotic resistance marker) in GM maize approved for consumption by the European Community. This led the Agency to commission five related research projects to investigate the transfer and survival of DNA - the fundamental genetic material of all living things - in the bacteria of the human gut.

The most recently completed study - which will be published in a scientific journal later this year - shows that in real-life conditions with human volunteers, no GM material survived the passage through the entire human digestive tract. Although some DNA survived in laboratory-created environments that simulated human or animal gastrointestinal tracts, the research concluded that the likelihood of functioning DNA being taken up by bacteria in the human or animal gut is extremely low.

Much of the work from the first four research projects has already been published in respected scientific journals. All five reports, including the study involving human volunteers, can be accessed via the links below.

bulletFSG01007 - Survival of ingested DNA in the gut and the potential for genetic transformation of resident bacteria
bulletG010008 - Evaluating the risks associated with using GMOs in human foods
(Two reports)
bulletG01010 - Assessment of the risks of transferring antibiotic resistance determinants from transgenic plants to micro-organisms
bulletG01011 Dissemination of GM DNA and antibiotic resistance genes via rumen microorganisms
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