Genetically modified organisms are a covert science experiment going on in the environment, in people and all around the world, subjecting the unaware masses to lab-invented foods. While GMOs can be detected in a country’s imports, there is little effort done to label these ingredients on food product labels. This is what makes the science behind GMOs seem covert, secretive.
GMO contamination of whole foods is prevalent
GMO contamination of whole foods is becoming widespread, as biotech industries exert control over the agricultural sector. And it’s no joke. In America, genetically altered corn makes up 88% of the market. GMO soy makes up 93%, while canola hovers around 90% — sugar beet, 54%.
When it comes down to international trade, traces of GMOs can disrupt imports and exports, wasting time, money and resources. There are many countries that exert a zero-tolerance policy for GMOs, not permitting this science experiment to creep into their country’s food supply. When GMOs are detected in food and feed even at “low levels,” international trade can be disrupted.
25 countries have blocked GMO-contaminated food and feed since 2002
A new survey from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations shows that 25 countries have blocked imports of food and feed since 2002 after discovering traces of GMOs. Grain and cereal tainted with GMOs may be blocked by one country and shipped back home to the country of origin. Cross-contamination of organic food is easy. A field trial of genetically modified crop that is grown near an organic farm can cross-pollinate. During processing, packing, storage and transportation, GMOs can be misplaced and intermingled with whole grains too.
What is kosher in one country may defy regulations in another. Each country sets its own rules. There is no international agreement on GMOs, so when a country of principle detects unwanted contamination, they can legally send that shipment back to the country responsible.
Groundbreaking survey shows that GMOs are increasingly disrupting international trade
The FAO conducted a groundbreaking survey of 75 of its 193 member countries. The countries answered questions pertaining to GMO cross-contamination and its influence on international trade.
The FAO found that, between 2002 and 2012, there were 198 reported incidents showing low levels of GMOs in whole food crops.
Of those reports, 138 were between 2009 and 2012, showing a recent spike in contamination.
FAO Senior Food Safety Officer Renata Clarke said, “We were surprised to see incidents from every region. It seems the more testing and more monitoring they do, the more incidents they find.”
A multitude of countries were found to be at fault for contamination, but the top three offenders were China Canada, and the US.
Most of the shipments in question were either destroyed or returned to the exporting country. GMO contamination apparently creates a lot of waste in the end.
The four most common cross-contaminated foods included rice, maize, papaya and linseed.
There are 30 countries that are involved in research or commercial production of GMOs.
Seventeen countries have no food safety laws on the books and permit GMOs to come into their countries freely.
“Although testing technology is more sensitive now, I would note that 37 out of 75 countries responded that they have little or no capacity to detect GMOs, that is, they don’t have the laboratories, technicians, and equipment to do so,” said Clarke. “Many countries have asked FAO to help improve their capacity to detect GMOs.” [emphasis added]
The survey also found that a total of 55 countries do not allow any GMOs within their borders and have a zero-tolerance policy.
“In the survey, countries also asked us to help them assess whether GM crops are safe to eat and we would like to see countries sharing any scientific findings they have on the subject,” she said. “For this purpose, FAO established FAO GM Foods Platform, a web page for countries to share information on safety assessment.” The platform can be accessed here.