By Belinda Tasker
Sydney Morning Herald
A group of prominent scientists and researchers from around the world has urged Australia not to go ahead with human trials of genetically modified (GM) wheat.
The CSIRO is carrying out a study of feeding GM wheat grown in the ACT to rats and pigs and could extend the trial to humans.
The modified wheat has been altered to lower its glycaemic index in an attempt to see if the grain could have health benefits such as improving blood glucose control and lowering cholesterol levels.
But eight scientists and academics from Britain, the US, India, Argentina and Australia believe not enough studies have been done on the effects of GM wheat on animals to warrant human trials.
The CSIRO has dismissed their concerns, insisting no decision has been made on if or when human trials will begin.
In a letter to the CSIRO’s chief executive Megan Clark, the scientists expressed their “unequivocal denunciation” of the experiments.
“The use of human subjects for these GM feeding experiments is completely unacceptable,” the letter said.
“The experiments may be used to dispense with concerns about the health impacts of consuming GM plants, but will not in fact address the health risks GM plants raise.
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