The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) announced this month that they recommend a moratorium on genetically modified (GM) foods, immediate implementation of long-term independent safety testing, and labeling of GM foods to protect the health and safety of consumers.
In their statement, the AAEM assert that it is crucial that the precautionary principle is taken in relation to GM foods, given the mounting data that indicates that it is possible for Genetically Modified Foods to cause adverse health effects in humans - including infertility, accelerated aging, and irregularities in immune systems.
Within the statement, the AAEM report that the association between GM foods and disease has been confirmed in many animal studies. Among the findings, these studies have shown:
• Significant immune dysregulation, including upregulation of cytokines associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation.
• Altered structure and function of the liver, including altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism as well as cellular changes that could lead to accelerated aging.
• Changes in the kidney, pancreas and spleen.
• Intestinal damage in animals fed GM foods, including proliferative cell growth and disruption of the intestinal immune system
• A recent 2008 study links GM corn with infertility, showing a significant decrease in offspring over time and significantly lower litter weight in mice fed GM corn.
“Therefore, because GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health and are without benefit, the AAEM believes that it is imperative to adopt the precautionary principle.”
With the precautionary principle in mind, the following course of action is being recommend by the Academy:
• Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.
• Physicians to consider the possible role of GM foods in the disease processes of the patients they treat and to document any changes in patient health when changing from GM food to non-GM food.
• AAEM members, the medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects, begin epidemiological research to investigate the role of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe methods of determining the effect of GM foods on human health.
• For a moratorium on GM food, implementation of immediate long term independent safety testing, and labeling of GM foods, which is necessary for the health and safety of consumers.
The AAEM’s statement on Genetically Modified Foods was reviewed and approved by the academy’s Executive Committee on May 8, 2009. Click here to read the full statement.