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GAO releases report on safety of biotech foods

(May 24, 2002 CropChoice commentary) The U.S. General Accounting Office yesterday released a report stating that genetically modified foods pose no greater human health risk (e.g., allergic reactions) than conventional foods. It did urge the Food and Drug Administration to improve its process of evaluating new transgenic foods.

There seems to be one big problem here, though. The FDA typically doesnt execute or monitor any of the tests on food and drug products, rather the biotechnology companies do. Might the drive to profit from introducing a new food product, be it conventional or genetically modified, lead them to fudge, just a bit, on the testing criteria and on the reporting?

What's more, the government has required NO long term feeding studies of genetically modified crops.

Read the report yourself by going to http://www.gao.gov/audit.htm and typing into the search box the title of the report -- Genetically Modified Foods: Experts View Regimen of Safety Tests as Adequate, but FDAs Evaluation Process Could Be Enhanced -- or the report number, which is GAO-52-566.