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US: Americans consume 87 kg of genetically modified food a year

The average American eats 193 pounds (about his own body weight) of genetically engineered food every year, a new Environmental Working Group analysis shows. A team of journalists and scientists critical of American agricultural policies thinks there should be more research on the long-term effects of GMOs. Virtually no long-term health studies have been done on consumption of genetically engineered food. Such an investigation is hindered by a lack of interest from both the sector and the government, and by protected patents limiting researchers wanting to delve into genetically modified organisms.

The only thing consumers can do is demand that genetically modified organisms are clearly labelled as being part of the product on offer. Renee Sharpe of the Environmental Working Group says strict labelling is getting progressively more important with the obvious advance of GMOs.

To calculate how much GMO people eat each year, EWG researchers started with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2011 data on per capita consumption of four foods commonly derived from genetically engineered crops: sugar, corn-based sweeteners, salad oil and “corn products.” 193 pounds of genetically engineered food is, according to the Group, an underestimate. The Group also says many admission procedures for new genetically modified crops are pending, implying that with more new GMOs on the way, consumption patterns are expected to increase dramatically.


Source: Environmental Working Group

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