In evaluating food and animal feed made from genetically modified organisms, one generally considers whether a product is as safe or less safe for consumption than the equivalent traditional product ("substantial equivalence"). From an ethical point of view the consumers? Freedom of choice in buying food also plays an important role.
A key difficulty in using the method of substantial equivalence to evaluate food and animal feed is that it does not consider the long-term risks of GM products. The precautionary principle should therefore be applied in such situations of uncertainty or ignorance. For reasons of fraud protection, GM products should be declared as such. In addition, freedom of choice should be ensured: consumers should always be able to purchase GMO-free products.
- ECNH report: Gene Technology for Food, 2003. (pdf, 765 KB)
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