BILLION DOLLARS IN THE US.
In the past few years, the number of babies born with birth defects, including Down syndrome, has jumped to more than 20 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The U.S. has more than 10 million cases of congenital heart defects.
“The problem is the fact that the market is already saturated and that the rate of infection is not going to decrease,” Dr. John Czarnik, president and CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said at a panel last year on the emerging dangers of GM crops.
The number of U.N. scientists who have published research linking the GM crops to health problems has also increased to more that a half-million, according the World Health Organization.
But the growth of the biotech industry has not stopped critics from questioning the safety of GM foods and foods derived from them.
“We know that there are a lot of safety concerns about the use of genetically modified organisms, but in general, the evidence is not strong,” Dr., Dr. Charles Krauthammer, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a CBS News interview last year.
Many scientists agree that the risk of serious adverse reactions to GM foods is minimal.
In fact, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) estimates that there have been just three deaths linked to GM crops, while another 10 deaths have been attributed to exposure to the GM plants.
In fact, a recent study found that GM plants have been linked to less than a single case of stomach cancer.
“It is clear that there is no evidence that the risks posed by genetic engineering outweigh the potential benefits,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), at a press conference in January.
Critics of GM technology have also said that it is not possible to tell how much of a risk of adverse reactions the food poses to humans.
“There are many studies that show the effects are minimal,” Dr, Peter Toms, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Iowa, told the New York Times.
For many, though, there is still a great deal of skepticism.
“What is most important to me is that the science is clear, there’s no controversy, and that people can decide what they want to eat and use it safely,” said Karen Haggerty, president of the Center for Food Safety.
“In that way, I don’t think there is much risk to the public.”
“It’s not safe, but it’s not a problem,” said Kevin Kennedy, president-elect of the Institute of Food Technologists.
So why is the biotech market booming?
The boom is being driven by a number of factors.
According to a report released by the USDA in June, more than 60% of the food produced in the U..
S., and nearly 40% of all agricultural land, is now genetically modified.
The report also found that the U,S.
corn, soybean, cotton, and sugar beet production has grown by more than 5.6 million metric tons over the past five years.
“The growth in corn, the soybean and cotton production, which are not only high on the food chain, but they are also being used as feedstocks, are creating a market for more nutritious food, including GM crops,” said the report.
GMO crops have also been widely used in some countries.
“A number of countries are looking at genetically modified crops in areas where there are no existing crops, like in China,” said Andrew Zimmern, senior vice president of government affairs for the U of C’s Institute of Culinary Sciences.
While the growth in food-producing regions has been positive, it has not been enough to offset the damage caused by the contamination of our food supply, said Dr., John Czarnecki, president emeritus of the European Society for Pest Management.
One thing that is not changing is the lack of regulation.
In recent years, countries around the world have begun to move towards greater transparency and stricter food safety regulations, with China and the United States the most prominent examples.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), for example, recently approved genetically modified maize in France, with the European Union’s Food Safety Agency (FSA) considering similar changes in the United Kingdom.
However, it is unclear how this trend will continue.
Even as more countries embrace more regulation and the market for food grown with GM technology has increased, some critics are concerned that the regulations and food safety laws that protect the public are getting in the way of the industry.
“Many of these rules are being created and created to protect Monsanto, not food safety,” said Tom Verleger,