Examining the safety of foods from animals fed biotechnology crops

13-07-2006 | |

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) is releasing a new issue paper: ‘The Safety of Meat, Milk, and Eggs from Animals Fed Crops Derived from Modern Biotechnology’.

CASTTask Force Chair Richard Phipps of The University of Reading in the UK says that the safety and availability of high-quality food and animal feedstuffs are critical to populations worldwide.

“During the past decade, the area of biotechnology-derived crops has increased dramatically from 4 to 90 million hectares/year, and crop varieties of corn, soybean, cotton, and canola are now widely used and are an important feedstuff in livestock production systems,” he says. “It is essential, therefore, to consider the safety of meat, milk, and eggs obtained from animals fed crops derived from modern biotechnology.”

Written and evaluated by a Task Force of international scientists, the paper aims to provide an overview of regulatory assessments of biotechnology-derived crops, and summarise the empirical data generated for assessing the safety of meat, milk, and eggs from animals fed biotechnology-derived crops that express agronomic input traits.

‘Safety of Meat, Milk, and Eggs from Animals Fed Crops Derived from Modern Biotechnology’ provides evidence that biotechnology-derived crops are as safe as conventional crops.

The paper’s recommendations include: continue using a case-by-case safety assessment approach; assess risks, as opposed to hazards; provide adequate funding to regulatory groups; and provide resources to increase public outreach and dialogue.

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