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Thai leaders should think twice about Roundup Ready soybean approval

(May 2, 2001 -- Cropchoice opinion) -- While Cropchoice applauds Thailand's mandating labels on transgenic food (www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=297), we can't say the same of its likely approval of Roundup Ready soybeans for human consumption.

Consider that the Thailand Biosafety Center, charged with determining whether genetically modified food is safe, conducted no research on the safety of the beans. Instead, it turned to studies from Monsanto -- the very company that designed and patented the soybeans. The Center also gathered information from agencies in countries where these soybeans and other transgenic foods already have approval.

Yet one of those countries, the United States, has never mandated extensive testing of these foods before approving them. The U.S. government won't even require labels.

Members of Thailand's food safety subcommittee soon will submit their conclusions to that country's Food and Drug Administration for consideration and final approval of Roundup Ready soybeans. Before they do, they should note the paucity of independent, peer-reviewed studies on the risks of transgenic crops and think about whether it's wise to allow consumption of them.

Perhaps decision makers everywhere should read what farmer Bill Christison (www.familyfarmer.org/conference/christison.html) and scientist Mae-Wan Ho (www.i-sis.org/i-sisnews7-18.shtml) have written about transgenic crops.

Other resources:
Union of Concerned Scientists at: