This morning, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued its latest report on the powder-keg issue of genetically improved foods. The 8-page release takes the form of a Q-and-A about issues related to biotech foods, and has some activists hopping mad.
Why all the hubbub? WHO went out of its way to answer the question, “Are GM foods safe?” Here’s a part of WHO’s answer:
GM foods currently available on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, 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’s National Post pointed out in a Saturday editorial that “a systematic campaign of misinformation” has allowed “environmentalists and anti-corporate activists” to “portray biotechnology as an enemy of human health.” The National Post continues: “This propaganda may play well on the poster-boards of Western health-food shops, but it is entirely baseless.”
The good news is that more and more reputable opinion leaders are seeing the light. Today’s New York Times tells the story of soybeans that are being “genetically engineered to cause fewer allergic reactions.” And in Australia last week, the Canberra Times reported that “there is no basis in fact of any adverse effect from eating foods derived from GM crops…. >[T]he environmental benefits of a number of these crops are enormous.”
Even the Roman Catholic Church, generally no friend of modern agriculture, officially endorsed “animal and vegetable technologies” a few days ago, declaring that “they are for the good of man.” Explaining the Church’s position, a bishop from the Philippines said that “God has conceived animals and vegetables as good creatures for man’s needs.” (Animal rights activists, take note.) He also observed that genetically improved foods “are certainly not more risky than the foods we already consume.”