It isn't a banner week for genetically engineered food.
While scientists in the biotech agro biz gather at a downtown hotel, pesky demonstrators are gearing up, and at least one local supermarket is clearing its shelves of genetically modified foods. Then there's Greenpeace, which released a report this week charging that there's "junk science behind the approvals of genetically modified crops."
Among other things, Greenpeace alleges that some industry studies accepted by European and U.S. regulators failed to measure the effects of biotech corn on the food chain.
"Essentially, the studies show that some combination of the scientists and the regulators have a high degree of ecological illiteracy," says Dr. Rod MacRae, an independent food policy consultant. However, Novartis, the large multinational biotech company whose studies are on the hot seat, dismisses the report.
"We have never, ever been criticized by any of the recognized scientific societies," says Novartis's Tony Minnichsoffer.
The Big Carrot, a natural food store on the Danforth, isn't taking any chances. It aims to have the GM content in its food products down to 1 per cent by November.
If GM foods have ruined your appetite, you might want to join Greenpeace and Gene Action outside the Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference at the Sheraton Hotel (Queen and York), today (Thursday, June 8) between 4 and 6 pm.
Activists can't swallow
GM food junk science GM food junk science