Genetically Modified Crops and Foods: The Texas Medical Association recognizes the continuing validity of the three major conclusions contained in the 1987 National Academy of Sciences white paper "Introduction of Recombinant DNA-Engineered Organisms into the Environment." [The three major conclusions are: (a) There is no evidence that unique hazards exist either in the use of rDNA techniques or in the movement of genes between unrelated organisms; (b) the risks associated with the introduction of rDNA-engineered organisms are the same in kind as those associated with the introduction of unmodified organisms and organisms modified by other methods; (c) assessment of the risk of introducing rDNA-engineered organisms into the environment should be based on the nature of the organism and the environment into which it is introduced, not on the method by which it was produced. (2) That federal regulatory oversight of agricultural biotechnology should continue to be science based and guided by the characteristics of the plant, its intended use, and the environment into which it is to be introduced, not by the method used to produce it, in order to facilitate comprehensive, efficient regulatory review of new genetically modified crops and foods. (3) TMA believes that as of December 2009, there is no scientific justification for special labeling of genetically modified foods, as a class, and that voluntary labeling is without value unless it is accompanied by focused consumer education. (4) TMA supports efforts for the systematic safety assessment of genetically modified foods and encourages: (a) development and validation of additional techniques for the detection and/or assessment of unintended effects; (b) continued use of methods to detect substantive changes in nutrient or toxicant levels in genetically modified foods as part of a substantial equivalence evaluation; (c) development and use of alternative transformation technologies to avoid utilization of antibiotic resistance markers that code for clinically relevant antibiotics, where feasible; and (d) that priority should be given to basic research in food allergenicity to support the development of improved methods for identifying potential allergens. (5) TMA supports continued research into the potential consequences to the environment of genetically modified crops including the: (a) assessment of the impacts of pest-protected crops on nontarget organisms compared to impacts of standard agricultural methods, through rigorous field evaluations; (b) assessment of gene flow and its potential consequences including key factors that regulate weed populations; rates at which pest resistance genes from the crop would be likely to spread among weed and wild populations; and the impact of novel resistance traits on weed abundance; (c) implementation of resistance management practices and continued monitoring of their effectiveness; and (d) development of monitoring programs to assess ecological impacts of pest-protected crops that may not be apparent from the results of field tests. (6) TMA recognizes the many potential benefits offered by genetically modified crops and foods, not support a moratorium on planting genetically modified crops, and encourage ongoing research developments in food biotechnology. (7) TMA recognizes that the government, industry, and the scientific and medical communities have a responsibility to educate the public and improve the availability of unbiased information on genetically modified crops and of research activities (Pres. Rep 1-A-02; amended CSPH Rep. 3-A-12).
Last Updated On
October 07, 2016