GMOs should be safety tested before they hit the market says AMA
The American Medical Association called for mandatory pre-market safety testing of genetically engineered foods as part of a revised policy voted on at the AMA’s meeting in Chicago Tuesday.
Currently biotech companies are simply encouraged to engage in a voluntary safety consultation with theFood and Drug Administration before releasing a product onto the market.
Some activists concerned about foods made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, had hoped the association would have gone so far as to support mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. But some still view the policy change as a major breakthrough.
“We applaud the AMA for taking the lead to help ensure a safe and adequate food supply,” said Anne Dietrich of the Truth In Labeling Campaign, which advocates labeling of genetically engineered foods. When Monsanto Co., the world’s largest biotech seed company, testified Sunday at the AMA committee hearing on the policy, its representative did not raise any objections to the mandatory safety assessment provision.
On Tuesday, however, Monsanto spokesman Tom Helscher would not say whether or not the company supports mandatory pre-market testing, only that the current voluntary consultation process “is working,” he wrote to the Tribune. “All of Monsanto’s biotech products, and to our knowledge all those of other companies, go through the FDA consultation process, which provides a stringent safety assessment of biotech crops before they are placed on the market.”
The AMA’s Dr. Patrice Harris said the testing provision was aimed at addressing public interests and ensuring public health….
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