by Amy Goodrich, Natural News:
Over the years, genetically modified crops have been a controversial topic of intense global debate. While proponents claim that GMOs are safe and needed to feed our burgeoning population, health and environmental groups are concerned about the lack of long-term testing on the impact of GMOs on the environment and human health.
Recently, the National Research Council, the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), released a highly influential and comprehensive report, Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects, on the effects of genetically engineered crops.
A panel of experts spent two years producing a 400-page report, which is one of the most extensive reviews of genetically modified crops ever published. They pooled data from more than 1,000 existing studies on genetically modified crops. They interviewed 80 witnesses, and analyzed more than 700 comments submitted by the public.
The study committee concluded that genetically modified crops available to date are safe for human consumption and the environment. However, they note that the prevalence of herbicide-resistant crops has led to an increase in herbicide use and herbicide-resistant weeds.
Furthermore, they found that while GMOs may help farmers economically, they do not see the significant increase in yield promised by proponents that see GMOs as the best way to avoid world hunger.
The report comes at a critical time, as America and Europe are reassessing the place of GMOs in our food system. According to a Pew poll, more than half of Americans (57 percent) believe that GMOs are unsafe and should be labeled, while proponents say they don’t cause any harm and will help farmers meet the growing demand for food.
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