How the “Substantial Equivalence” concept paved the way for unproven GMOs

The dominance of genetically modified foods, particularly major human and animal trade crops such as corn and soy,was launched in a big way in 1993, according to Ecowatch. The concept of “Substantial Equivalence,” introduced by the Organisation for Economic Development (an international economic and trade organization, NOT a health body),  stated that if a new food is found to be ‘mostly’ equal to an existing food product, it can be treated the same way as the existing food in the way of safety.

Not every country went along with this concept, but it was enthusiastically embraced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Japan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare.

This faulty concept, flexible and open to preferred interpretation, has greatly benefited the GMO food trade, allowing it to skip over impartial safety research and regulatory requirements and win easy approval of most any GMO product.

The convenient concept worked beautifully for a number of years, and things were good for the biotech food industry. But that was then and this is now. Many independent  opposing studies have been conducted, many of them suppressed and demagogued, many of them slipping through, showing the nutritional deficiencies and outright dangers posed by dependence on GMOs.

Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghji, of the Permaculture Research Institute, says that GMOs are “abstract entities” that may be made up of ingredients from a collection of species. “This means all the worst traits of many different varieties can be combined and still be ‘Substantially Equivalent.’ ”

For example, an Egyptian study, led by Professor El-Sayed Shaltout of Alexandria University, found Monsanto GM corn showed substantial NON-equivalence and greater toxicity when compared to non-GMO corn. Previous studies in Mexico have shown that GM corn is nutritionally deficient compared to non-GM, as the introduced genes suppress natural cooperative compounds in natural corn.

Thomas Bohn, at the Norwegian Centre for Biosafety tested many GM and non-GM soybeans and found them far from ‘equivalent’ in nutritional value. Again, many other studies have shown that a diet primarily of GM corn and soy animal feed has had ominous health effects on food animals such as pigs, cattle and chickens. And what food animals eat gets passed down to people who eat them.

So far, there is no definitive information directly linking GMO diets, aka the Standard American Diet–as GM corn and soy by-products permeate nearly all processed, prepared and fast foods–to chronic health problems. But all you have to do is look around at obesity and listen to all your family and friends describing the medications they take to address this and that problem. That should make any thinking person get suspicious about what has changed in the last couple of decades.

And maybe ‘Substantial Equivalence’ is in the process of being exposed as the profitable fraud it is.

Billed as the “first-ever” comprehensive, honestly independent, international study on GMOs, scientists from the U.S., UK, France, China and Russia are currently raising funds and support from around the world to accomplish what has never been done–learning whether GMOs really improve on nature–or whether they are inflicting more harm than we ever dreamed.


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