ICSU releases GMO synthesis report

Related tags Gm foods Genetically modified organism Food Genetically modified food

The International Council for Science has released a new report
which assesses the risks and benefits of applying new genetic
discoveries to food production.

The International Council for Science (ICSU) has released a new report which assesses the risks and benefits of applying new genetic discoveries to food production.

Entitled New Genetics, Food and Agriculture: Scientific Discoveries - Societal Dilemmas​ the report is a synthesis of more than 50 science-based reviews and was commissioned by ICSU's Advisory Committee on Genetic Experimentation and Biotechnology (ACOGEB).

"This report is based on thorough examination of reviews prepared by national academies of sciences, international organizations, and private agencies over the past three years (2000 - 2002),"​said author Dr. Gabrielle Persley of the Doyle Foundation. "We've analysed key issues, identified areas of scientific convergence and divergence, and highlighted gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed through further research."

In relation to societal concerns about genetically modified foods and other genetically modified organisms, the report addresses five key questions: Who needs GM foods? Are GM foods safe to eat? Will GMOs affect the environment? Are the regulations adequate? Will GMOs affect trade?

The report was simultaneously launched in print and on the Internet (www.icsu.org​), making it a readily available resource tool for scientists, policy makers, and those involved in the food industry. It is supported by an annotated bibliography, with the electronic version providing direct links to original reviews. The ICSU says it will update the website every six months to ensure that users can easily find and utilise the latest data and information.

"ICSU recognises that the safety and environmental concerns associated with GM foods and GMOs are directly linked to issues of food security and poverty, particularly in emerging economies,"​ said Dr. Carthage Smith, deputy executive director of ICSU. "Putting this material into the hands of people around the globe will help them to understand the issues and inform policy development and future research."

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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