New “Science Blog” to analyse publications on the risks of genetically engineered organisms

Is genetically engineered maize healthier than conventionally bred maize?

21 March 2018 / Many experts claim there is “consensus” that genetically engineered plants are safe. At the same time, most of the publications on the risks of genetically engineered organisms are prepared for the biotech industry, or authored by experts who lack a certain critical distance to these companies. This is a major problem since any influence of companies with vested interests in the marketing of genetically engineered plants should be avoided when it comes to risk research of the relevant products. However, reality is still a very long way from this indispensable prerequisite of reliable risk research.

In the recent past, Testbiotech has frequently been made aware of publications claiming the safety of genetically engineered organisms; all of which have gone unquestioned either by the authorities, politicians or journalists. To aid informed debate, Testbiotech is starting a new science blog where our first post will be an analysis of a paper published by Italian scientists claiming that genetically engineered maize is healthier than conventionally bred maize. The publication was picked up by several media outlets and met with a positive response. However, closer analysis shows that the publication is largely inaccurate due to bias in data selection.

In general, there are very few incentives for researchers to identify potential hazards and relevant gaps in knowledge. In addition, there is no current research program in the EU to investigate GMOs already on the market with the aim of strengthening the precautionary principle and the protection of people.

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