GM is 100% safe, shows researchNovember 5, 2014 | 0
Genetically modified (GM) crops include one or more genes from another organism, such as a microbe or a plant. The inserted gene results in a beneficial characteristic in the plant, such as the ability to repel insects or tolerate drought.
Monsanto aids farmers by developing GM traits that increase yields while conserving soil and water. We also work to develop traits that improve our diets, such as soybeans that produce fatty acids for better nutrition.
One of the most intense debates around GM has been on safety. ‘Is GM food safe?’ is a frequently-asked question.
The fact is that GM crops have been tested more than any other in history and absolutely no credible evidence of harm to humans has been found. It’s not just us who assert this; regulators, scientists and health associations across the world agree that GM food is safe to eat.
All GM food is a result of robust science and years of detailed research. Companies that develop biotech crops conduct tests for food, feed and environmental safety. Regulators and independent experts review the data for each product. The most stringent standards are applied.
According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, as of November 30, 2013, 36 countries (35 + EU, comprising 27 countries) have granted regulatory approvals for biotech crops for food, environmental release or planting since 1994. In these countries, 2,833 regulatory approvals involving 27 GM crops and 336 GM events have been issued, of which 1,321 are for food (direct use or processing), 918 for feed (direct use or processing) and 599 for environmental release or planting.
The benefits of GM crops are immense. They improve farm yields, reduce usage of natural resources and they provide nutritional benefits. In India, for instance, GM crops have improved farm yields despite weed and insect pressure, decreased water usage and use of fossil fuels. The decreased use of insecticide has been recognised by consumers and environmentalists.
On the nutrition front, certain GM crops produce more nutritious oils, which help people replace solid fat in their diets, thus reducing saturated fat intake. Another example includes stearidonic acid that produces healthful long chain omega-3 fatty acids.
Many studies have backed the benefits of GM food. In December 2010, for instance, the European Commission published a report summarising the results of 50 research projects addressing the safety of GM for the environment, and animal and human health. The commission stated: “…there is, as of today, no scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants.”
As a responsible corporation, Monsanto is committed to safety above all and goes to great lengths to engage with all stakeholders and to raise awareness about GM food. It remains one of our primary thrust areas.