¿Por qué los alimentos transgénicos son peligrosos?

alimentos transgenicos, GMO foodsUn nuevo informe por los ingenieros genéticos. Comunicado de prensa para su publicación inmediata

Por Earth Open Source, 17 de junio de 2012. Contacto*

Traducción al español: Jennifer Ungemach, Vía Orgánica, México

LONDRES, REINO UNIDO – ¿No están los críticos de los alimentos transgénicos en contra de la ciencia? ¿No es el debate sobre los OGM (organismos genéticamente modificados) una disputa entre activistas emocionales, pero ignorantes por un lado, y los científicos racionales que apoyan los OGM por el otro?

Un nuevo informe publicado hoy, «Mitos y Verdades de los OGM” (GMO Myths and Truths) [1] cuestiona estas afirmaciones. El informe presenta una gran cantidad de estudios revisados por científicos y otras evidencias de autoridades sobre los peligros para la salud y el medio ambiente que ejercen los cultivos y organismos genéticamente modificados (OGM).

Inusualmente, la iniciativa para el informe no proviene de los activistas, sino de dos ingenieros genéticos que creen que hay buenas razones científicas para la cautela en cuanto a los alimentos y cultivos transgénicos.

Uno de los autores del informe, el Dr. Michael Antoniou, de la Escuela de Medicina de King’s College London School, en el Reino Unido, utiliza la ingeniería genética para aplicaciones médicas, pero advierte en contra de su uso en el desarrollo de cultivos para la alimentación humana y animal.

El Dr. Antoniou dijo: «Los cultivos transgénicos son promovidos sobre la base de unas reivindicaciones ambiciosas – que son seguros para comer, ambientalmente beneficiosos, reducen la dependencia de los plaguicidas, y pueden ayudar a resolver el hambre del mundo.

«Sentí que lo que se necesitaba era una recopilación de evidencias que tratan a la tecnología desde un punto de vista científico.

«Los estudios de investigación muestran que los cultivos genéticamente modificados tienen efectos nocivos en animales de laboratorio en pruebas de alimentación, y afectan el medio ambiente durante el proceso de cultivo. Han incrementado el uso de pesticidas y no han logrado aumentar los rendimientos. Nuestro informe concluye que hay otras alternativas más seguras y eficaces para satisfacer las necesidades mundiales de alimentación».

Ratas alimentadas con

Ratas alimentadas con cultivo transgénico  (Usuario Flickr: Tom Woods)

Otro de los autores del informe, el Dr. John Fagan, es un ex ingeniero genético que en 1994 devolvió 614.000 dólares de subvención a los Institutos Nacionales de Salud debido a sus preocupaciones sobre la seguridad y la ética de la tecnología. Posteriormente, fundó una compañía de análisis de los OMG.

El Dr. Fagan dijo: «La ingeniería genética de los cultivos como se practica hoy en día es una tecnología imprecisa, cruda y anticuada. Puede crear toxinas o alérgenos inesperados en los alimentos y afectar su valor nutricional. Los avances recientes apuntan a mejores formas de utilizar nuestro conocimiento de la genómica para mejorar los cultivos de alimentos, que no utilizan los OGM.

«Más del 75% de los cultivos transgénicos están diseñados para tolerar ser rociados con herbicidas. Esto ha dado lugar a la propagación de supermalezas resistentes a los herbicidas, resultando en un aumento en las exposiciones de los agricultores y las comunidades  en forma masiva a estos productos químicos tóxicos. Los estudios epidemiológicos sugieren un vínculo entre el uso de herbicidas y los defectos congénitos y el cáncer.

(Usuario Flickr: fabrice)

Rociadores de pesticidas (Usuario Flickr: fabrice)

«Estos hallazgos desafían fundamentalmente la utilidad y seguridad de los cultivos transgénicos, pero la industria de la biotecnología utiliza su influencia para bloquear investigaciones realizadas por científicos independientes y utiliza su potente maquinaria de relaciones públicas para desacreditarlos, si sus conclusiones desafían su enfoque».

La tercera autora del informe, Claire Robinson, directora de investigación en Earth Open Source, dijo:»La industria de los transgénicos está tratando de cambiar nuestro suministro de alimentos en maneras de largo alcance y formas potencialmente peligrosas. Todos tenemos que informarnos acerca de lo que está pasando y asegurar que nosotros- no las empresas de biotecnología – mantenemos el control de nuestro sistema alimentario y las semillas de los cultivos.

«Esperamos que nuestro informe contribuya a una comprensión más amplia de los cultivos transgénicos y las alternativas sustentables que ya están funcionando con éxito para los agricultores y las comunidades. »

Notas

      El informe, “GMO Myths and Truths, An evidence-based examination of      the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops”      («Mitos y Verdades de OMG, una examen basado en la evidencia de las      afirmaciones hechas sobre la seguridad y eficacia de los cultivos      genéticamente modificados») de Michael Antoniou, PhD, Claire Robinson      y John Fagan, PhD, es una publicación de Earth Open Source (junio 2012).      El informe es de 123 páginas y contiene más de 600 citas, muchas de ellas de      la literatura revisada por pares científicos, y el resto de informes de      científicos, médicos, órganos del gobierno, la industria y los medios de      comunicación. El informe está disponible aquí:

http://earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/58

    .      Una versión resumida será lanzada en las próximas semanas.

Puntos clave para los medios

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