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By Rady Ananda
Food Freedom

In February, the European Commission (EC) approved four transgenic soybeans intended for food and feed, import and processing, reports Inf’OGM. This follows four approvals in December, on top of three last summer.

Three of the recently-approved GM soy varieties are tolerant to herbicides: DuPont-Pioneer’s 356043, Monsanto’s Glyphosate-tolerant soy GTS40-3-2, and Bayer’s A5547127. The fourth, Mon87701, produces an insecticide.

The US approved GTS40-3-2 in 1994, quickly followed by Canada, Japan, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa. [1] In 2000, Monsanto discovered two extra bacterial DNA sequences, requiring global notifications to be sent. [2] Food safety authorities found no problem with the extra genetic material. [3]

France abstained from voting on approval of GTS40-3-2, as well as Mon87701 and DuPont-Pioneer’s 356043. However, the French Agency for Food Safety refused to approve Bayer’s A5547127 on the grounds that the safety studies failed to consider sub-chronic toxicity in rats.

Under the EU’s comitology procedure, the European Commission wholly decides GM approvals, a controversial committee-procedure that excludes member-state input.

Pesticide-resistant genetically modified crops have been linked to a host of problems including superweeds [4], superbugs, and bee colony collapse disorder.

Senior Scientist Doug Gurian-Sherman at the Union of Concerned Scientists sees potential benefits in genetic engineering, but notes after reviewing the current literature that, “current data suggests that the new, ubiquitous seed treatments that have accompanied Bt corn are just as harmful as the insecticides they are replacing.” [5]

Roundup® in particular has been linked to human birth defects [6], spontaneous abortions in animals and the discovery of a new soil pathogen previously unknown to science.

© Rady Ananda 2012

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