If we cannot trust our food supply, does anything much matter? If we can't eat, we're all in trouble.
Overall conclusion of PSRAST
Based on the three above mentioned documents.
Scientific knowledge about the effects of genetic engineering of food is far too incomplete to enable safe application of the technology:
The knowledge about DNA is very incomplete. It is completely insufficient for an understanding and prediction of the effects of genetic manipulations.
Important, presently unpredictable and unimaginable complications involving environmental as well as health effects of GE organisms cannot be
Molecular biology predicts that unexpected, and in the worst case harmful, substances may appear due to GE. This prediction has been supported by
experimental observations. There is not enough knowledge to estimate the risk for the appearance of harmful substances. It cannot be excluded that the
risk is of a significant magnitude, meaning that present exposure of people to GE food without adequate safety testing, may sooner or later cause a
large scale disaster.
There is not enough knowledge about the environmental safety of GE crops or any other GE organism especially in a long term perspective. But there are
a number of observations indicating the possibility of harmful and irreversible ecological damage, in the worst case at a large scale.
For these reasons, we don't find commercial application of gene technology for food production responsible and justifiable. Especially so as present
GE crops and foods are of very limited, if any, value to mankind. Neither do we find any release of GE organisms into nature responsible and
The commercial application of gene technology for the artificial development of organisms is highly premature. Therefore, all such organisms should be
withdrawn from the market and be studied only under strictly confined laboratory conditions until enough is known to be able to judge whether it is
possible to develop environmentally safe organisms, useful to mankind, in this way. This is likely to take several decades. Increasing evidence is
indicating that it is not realistic to expect that this is possible.
"We know far less than one per cent of what will be known about
biology, human physiology, and medicine.
My view of biology is 'We dont know #.' "
Dr. J. Craig Venter, Time's Scientist of the year (2000). President of the Celera Corporation. Dr. Venter is recognized as one of the two most
important scientists in the worldwide effort to map the human genome.
Source: "The Genome Warrior", The New Yorker Magazine, June 12, 2000.
"We do not now how organisms make themselves. We are still... in the dark ages about how organisms regulate their genomes to produce adults."
Richard Strohman, Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology at University of California, Berkeley. He has been at Berkeley since 1959, serving
as chair of the nation's top-ranked zoology department and director of the Health and Medical Sciences Program.
Source: Toward a new paradigm for life. Beyond genetic determinism. By Richard Strohman.
"These findings demonstrate the fragmentary nature of current knowledge of genome structure and function and regulation of gene expression in
general, and the limited understanding of several physiological, ecological, agronomical and toxicological aspects relevant to present-day and planned
genetic modifications of crops."
Source: Visser, A. J. C.; Nijhuis, E. H.; Elsas, J. D. van; Dueck, T. A. "Crops of uncertain nature? Controversies and Knowledge Gaps Concerning
Genetically Modified Crops. An Inventory. "Plant Research International (No. 12, 2000) 70 pp.
Come on, people, how many references do you need to understand how serious this poblem is?