Opinions surrounding the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods must be based on conclusive scientific facts, not the results of one study, the trade association representing Canada's plant science industry said today.
"Genetically modified foods and the crops from which they are derived are some of the most extensively studied food products in the world," says Denise Dewar, Executive Director of Plant Biotechnology for CropLife Canada. "GM foods have been safely consumed for over a decade."
Studies by international organizations have concluded that genetically modified crops pose no risk to human health and the environment. A report from the European Union concludes "the use of more precise technology and the greater regulatory scrutiny probably make them even safer than conventional plants and foods."
The World Health Organization states "no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved."
Canada has one of the most rigorous and well-respected regulatory approval processes in the world. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada ensure the safety of our food. In establishing science-based regulation of these products in Canada, Health Canada's guidelines reflect recent international standards, which are based on scientific principles developed over the last 10 years through expert international consultation with agencies such as the World Health Organization and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
"The call for mandatory labelling of GM food would ultimately impose greater costs to growers, manufacturers and consumers and it is difficult and expensive to enforce," said Dewar. "In many countries that have adopted the system, it has failed to provide consumers with choice."
CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science innovations - pest control products and plant biotechnology - for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings.