EU: vote on importing new GM soya
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In mid July a vote was taken in Brussels on further approval by the EU of imports of genetically engineered soya beans. The German organisation Testbiotech , that is very critical of genetic engineering, warned against issuing approval of the plants developed by Bayer and Dow AgroSciences.
These plants are resistant to several herbicides that are dangerous to human health and the harvests are contaminated with herbicide residues. Tetbiotech states that the European Food safety Authority ( EFSA) has tested for only some of the residues and has not tested at all for the effect of the herbicides used in combination. Testiotech maintains that current research tells us that eating these soya beans involves a risk to our health.
The Environment Committee of the European Parliament voted to demand a closer examination of the consequences of using herbicides before EU approval can be granted. The approval in question applies to three GM soya beans that have been made resistant to a combined application of two or three herbicides:
• Glyphosate is suspected by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of being carcinogenic;
• Glufosinate is categorised by the EFSA as harmful to human fertility and will be taken off the market by April 2018;
• In the case of Isoxaflutole the EFSA says it is suspected of causing cancer;
• Recent publications state that in the case of 2.4-D carcinogenic substances occur as it degrades.
In the countries where the GM soya is grown – the USA, Brazil and Argentina – chemicals are added to these already very problematic active agents. The additives are in some cases even more poisonous than the individual active agents and in the EU some of them have already been taken off the market.