February 26, 2013
In my last article entitled, “Codex Alimentarius and GM Food Guidelines Pt.8”, I detailed the Codex Alimentarius position regarding Genetically Modified (GM) Micro-Organisms. Similarly, in several of the articles I have written recently, I have also discussed the Codex position on GM plants and other GM organisms.
Yet, no analysis of the Codex Alimentarius positions on GM food and/or organisms would be complete without a discussion of the Codex position on GM animals.
Indeed, the “Guideline For The Conduct Of Food Safety Assessment Of Foods Derived From Recombinant-DNA Animals,” a subsection of the Codex document “Foods Derived From Modern Biotechnology,” is as interesting for the concerns that it does not address as for the ones that it does. Largely a copied and pasted version of the two sections before it, (“Guideline for the conduct of food safety assessment of foods derived from recombinant-dna plants” and “Guideline for the conduct of food safety assessment Of foods produced using recombinant-dna micro-organisms”) the GM animal Guidelines does not address some very key issues such as:
1.) Animal welfare
2.) Ethical, moral and socio-economic aspects
3.) Environmental risks related to the environmental release of recombinant-DNA animals used in food production
4.) The safety of recombinant-DNA animals used as feed, or the safety of animals fed with feed derived from recombinant-DNA animals, plants and micro-organisms.
As can be easily seen, these issues are extremely important in their own right. Just the moral issues, in addition to the hazards of the potential of GM animals being released into the environment, are enough to fill volumes. However, Codex chooses not to deal with these issues in its Guidelines.