The GMO Stalemate in Europe

28.02.2013

Science Mag

Published 22 February 2013 by Louise O. Fresco

In September 2012, Europe was shocked by a publication, from Caen University in France, claiming that rats fed for 2 years with transgenic herbicide-resistant corn suffered from tumors. Even though the results have been criticized as flawed,* this research continues to be hailed as a confirmation that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are intrinsically dangerous.

The European Union (EU) differs from most of the world in its strong opposition to the use of genetic modification in agriculture. This position has worsened over the past 15 years. Field trials of new GM varieties have declined since the late 1990s. Nearly the entire EU commercial acreage of 100,000 ha consists of Bt corn, altered to express a toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis that is poisonous to insect pests; no other GM crop is allowed, apart from a high-starch potato. The corn is grown mostly in Spain, the only European country in the top 20 GM crop–growing countries worldwide. [...]

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