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Brigid Sullivan

Questionable Technologies

two identical cowsRather than support real farming and proper safety standards, companies looking to keep profits up often turn to techno-fixes that put our health and environment at risk. Poorly tested genetically modified crops find their way into the food chain based on safety assessments provided by the companies that sell them, and we have to pay more to avoid them. Nanotechnology is in our sunscreen already, and many want to see it in food packaging, even though there are no regulations to control it. Food is irradiated to keep dirty industrial food processing plants online.

Impacts we do know about include:
While the companies promoting these technologies make big promises, they are often reluctant to accept liability for their products. Negative impacts could take years to fully emerge, and because there is no proper post-release monitoring, we don’t even know if they’ve begun.

-Food imported from countries with lower safety standards put consumers at risk. China, the leading source of unsafe food entering the EU, has been caught exporting genetically modified rice, seafood, honey containing illegal antibiotics, and illegally irradiated foods. Other dangerous imports stopped at the border include mercury-tainted fish from Indonesia and EU-banned antibiotics in both Vietnamese shrimp and Myanmar tilapia.

-Farmers and food companies using lower standard undermine European farmers working hard to do the right thing. Without good, clear labelling on these products, we won’t know when we are making it worse for them.

Featured Publications
Where regulators fail to protect us, things go wrong. US rice farmers contaminated in 2006 by experimental GM are winning millions in the courts from the companies juries say were “intentionally” careless.  Read our press release to learn more: Food & Water Europe Welcomes U.S. Court Ruling: Bayer “Intentionally” Contaminated U.S. Rice

Food & Water Europe is working to expose the worst of these techno-fixes and the political lobbying pushing them onto our plates to halt their spread. Read the letter we sent to the UK Government with the African Centre for Biosafety and The Gaia Foundation challenging the UK’s support for a major project pushing ill-judged agricultural techno-fixes on African farmers.

Read Food & Water Europe’s submission to EFSA’s public consultation on risk assessment of GM animals.

Read our submission to the UK Government’s industrial policy consultation on exporting farming technofixes.

Food & Water Europe wrote to the Food Standards Agency of the UK concerning the FSA’s publication – BITE magazine’s alarmingly one-sided treatment of nanotechnology in food. Read the letter.