Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–November 30, 2012. A health care institution is weighing in to warn people about potential dangers of genetically engineered (GE) food. On the heels of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ warning on pesticides, the nation’s largest nonprofit health care plan, Kaiser Permanente, has published in its print newsletter, Partners in Health, tips on limiting exposure to genetically engineered food. In the Fall 2012, Kaiser Permanente has published an article, “What you need to know about GMO: Limit exposure to genetically engineered organisms with these tips.”
This discussion in the health care sector is part of a growing involvement by health care practitioners in environmental health concerns related to pesticides and genetic engineering of the food supply. While Canadian medical groups have warned the public about the dangers of pesticides and supported phase-outs, institutions representing the medical community in the U.S. have been more reserved. In 2004, the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) in Canada strongly recommended that people reduce their exposure to pesticides wherever possible, after releasing a comprehensive review of research on the effects of pesticides on human health. OCFP’s Systematic Review of Pesticides Human Health Effects shows consistent pesticide links to serious illnesses such as cancer, reproductive problems and neurological diseases, among others. The study also shows that children are particularly vulnerable to pesticides.
In an interview with the Salem Weekly, an official with Kaiser indicated that the article does not represent Kaiser policy, but presents information that the plan thinks is important for its members to have. The official said, “Kaiser Permanente believes the ongoing research and debate on bioengineered foods, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is important. We also recognize there are important conversations about related initiatives and propositions. While we believe these are important scientific and political debates, we do not have policy positions on these subjects.”