Swiss study shows GM plants pose low risk

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Another study has shown that genetically modified (GM) plants pose a low risk to humans and the environment. The new research from Switzerland is the latest in several recent studies finding few risks with adopting and consuming GM crops. Earlier this summer, Chinese scientists released similar information.

The Swiss developed its recent study after its government voted for a five-year moratorium on GM crops in 2005. About 30 projects were launched between 2007 and 2011 to study GM crops’ impact.

All of the researchers reached the same conclusions. There were no identifiable negative effects on beneficial organisms, microorganisms or soil fertility.

“The national research program did not reveal any risk for human health or the environment,” said National Science Foundation delegate Thomas Bernauer.

Despite the findings, it is unlike for Swiss farmers to adopt GM crops after the moratorium expires. There is little financial incentive to plant these crops. However, increasing pest pressure could change farmers’ minds.

Scientists recommend continuing to conduct field trials because research showed that GM plants behaved differently in a greenhouse than in a field.

The moratorium could be extended until 2017 if a pending motion is accepted by both chambers of the Swiss parliament.


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