GM Food Is Okay, Says WHO
In a first joint study with the WTO
The Financial Express
August 24, 2002
Geneva, August 23: Top international trade and health experts have urged world leaders to link health and trade policy to encourage growth in developing countries and sought to ease concerns over genetically modified foods.
In their first combined study, experts from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Health Organization (WHO) also tackled the sensitive issue of genetically modified (GM) foods. "WHO is of the opinion that it is very unlikely that there is a risk for consumers when they consume GM food, currently approved and currently available in the market," WHO official Wim Vaneck told journalists on Thursday.
Mr. Vaneck also said that he thought the governments of famine-stricken South African states had little reason to be concerned over GM food, days after several countries in the region announced they were stalling food aid from the US fearing the health effects of genetically modified maize.
"We feel that it is of course a decision of the recipient government in the area," Mr. Vaneck said.
"But we think that it is unlikely that the consumption of GM food causes a risk to human health and we think that the environmental risks are manageable," he added.
In the 18-month study, WHO listed eight health concerns, including the fight against infectious diseases, smoking, and access to medicine. The study expressed support for the controversial WTO measure governing patents, trade-related intellectual property rights, known as Trips.
The measure has come under attack as preventing developing nations from developing cheaper generic medicines to combat epidemics such as AIDS.
Editor's note: The preceding article is an example of disinformation. Neither the WHO nor the WTO are legitimate organizations.