Steady increase in of low levels of GM crops in traded food, feed
"We were surprised to see incidents from every region," she said. "It seems the more testing and more monitoring they do, the more incidents they find."
"Although testing technology is more sensitive now, I would note that 37 out of 75 countries responded that they have little or no capacity to detect GMOs, that is, they don't have the laboratories, technicians, and equipment to do so," she added. "Many countries have asked FAO to help improve their capacity to detect GMOs."
"In the survey, countries also asked us to help them assess whether GM crops are safe to eat and we would like to see countries sharing any scientific findings they have on the subject," she said. "For this purpose, FAO established FAO GM Foods Platform, a web page for countries to share information on safety assessment." The platform can be accessed at http://fao.org/gm-platform/.
Other survey findings include:
- 30 countries produce GM crops, either for research or commercial production or both, and more GM crops are being developed;
- 17 countries do not have any food safety, feed safety or environmental regulations on GM crops;
- 55 countries have zero-tolerance policy for unauthorized GM crops;
- 38 countries consider the different policies on GMOs existing between trading partners is an important factor in contributing to the trade risk posed by the presence of low levels of GM crops in some traded foods;
In most countries, there are no generally applicable low-level GMO policies, legislation or regulations yet in place. Different options have been used when setting such policy, including a zero tolerance policy, a low threshold policy and a case-by-case policy.
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