Revista Española de Salud Pública
versão impressa ISSN 1135-5727
SPENDELER, Liliane. Genetically Modified Organisms: A New Threat to Food Safety. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2005, vol.79, n.2, pp. 271-282. ISSN 1135-5727. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57272005000200013.
This article analyzes all of the food safety-related aspects related to the use of genetically modified organisms into agriculture and food. A discussion is provided as to the uncertainties related to the insertion of foreign genes into organisms, providing examples of unforeseen, undesirable effects and of instabilities of the organisms thus artificially fabricated. Data is then provided from both official agencies as well as existing literature questioning the accuracy and reliability of the risk analyses as to these organisms being harmless to health and discusses the almost total lack of scientific studies analyzing the health safety/dangerousness of transgenic foods. Given all these unknowns, other factors must be taken into account, particularly genetic contamination of the non-genetically modified crops, which is now starting to become widespread in some parts of the world. Not being able of reversing the situation in the even of problems is irresponsible. Other major aspects are the impacts on the environment (such as insects building up resistances, the loss of biodiversity, the increase in chemical products employed) with indirect repercussions on health and/or future food production. Lastly, thoughts for discussion are added concerning food safety in terms of food availability and food sovereignty, given that the transgenic seed and related agrochemicals market is currently cornered by five large-scale transnational companies. The conclusion entails an analysis of biotechnological agriculture's contribution to sustainability.
Palavras-chave : Genetically modified organism; Genetically modified food; Genetically modified crops; Food safety; Food labelling.