A new Food & Water Watch report claims that the “genetic engineering [GE] of crops and animals for human consumption is not the silver bullet approach for feeding a growing population that the agribusiness and biotechnology industries claim it is. Conversely, studies find that GE plants and animals do not perform better than their traditional counterparts and raise a slew of health, environmental and ethical concerns.”

According to the consumer watchdog, potential GE food risks include “increased food allergies and unknown long term health effects in humans; the rise of superweeds that have become resistant to GE-affiliated herbicides; the ethical and economic concerns involved with the patenting of life and corporate consolidation of the seed supply; and the contamination of organic and non-GE crops and livestock through cross-pollination and seed dispersal.”

Food & Water Watch recommends that U.S. regulators (i) “enact a moratorium on new U.S. approvals of genetically engineered plants and animals; (ii) “institute the precautionary principle for GE foods”; (iii) “develop new regulatory framework for biotech foods”; (iv) “improve agency coordination and increase post-market regulation”; (v) “require mandatory labeling of GE foods”; and (vi) “shift liability of GE contamination to seed patent holders.” See Food & Water Watch News Release, September 29, 2011.