Safety fair benefits kids from Boys and Girls Club

Snohomish County Fire District 15 firemen thrilled the kids with blasting firehoses. Photo/Micheal Rios
Snohomish County Fire District 15 firemen thrilled the kids with blasting firehoses.
Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 


BG Fair-Front
Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News


by Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Hundreds of kids from the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club learned how to be prepared for emergencies at a health and safety fair held on Friday, November 13. The day of fun-filled, educational activities was in response to a large wind storm that knocked power out in major parts of the Tulalip Reservation only weeks ago.

The fair included services and education from various departments within the Tribes’ network, including the Health Clinic, Police Department, and Youth Services.

The theme behind this year’s safety fair was to have children and their parents prepare for emergencies with educational fun for the whole family.

The Red Cross was on hand to oversee their ‘pillowcase project’, where kids ages 3 and up receive a pillowcase to build their own personal emergency supplies kit. Kids 5 and up were taught compression CPR by a professional team who provided video tutorials and hands-on learning tools for the youth.


Kids learning compression CPR. Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News
Kids learning compression CPR.
Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News


Washington Poison Center representatives were on-hand with their Mr. Yuk mascot and resources. They provided information about poisonings and toxic substances to the children by way of a spin the wheel game. For each spin of the wheel, a child would be asked whether a certain item was poisonous or not if digested/inhaled, and prizes were awarded for correct answers. For incorrect answers, the Mr. Yuk representative would explain to the child how the item was poisonous and potential effects if digested/inhaled.

Highlighting the safety fair was the presence of Snohomish County Fire District 15. Children lined up by the scores to meet the firemen, sit in the firetruck and use the fire hose to blast water at safety cones.


Washington Poison Center representatives taught kids about about poisonings and toxic substances using a wheel spinning game. Photo/Micheal Rios
Washington Poison Center representatives taught kids about about poisonings and toxic substances using a wheel spinning game.
Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 


“It’s important for the kids to hear it come from people besides us,” says B&GC administrative assistant Diane Prouty on the importance of the safety fair. “We want them to hear it from the professionals, so that they know what we say is true. And that they listen when we talk to them about the different kinds of safety, whether it be bus safety or fire safety. We just want to make sure that all children in our community are safe and that they have the opportunity to learn it right here at the club.”


Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News
Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News



Contact Micheal Rios,

Have a happy and safe Fourth

It’s been a beautiful summer and with Independence Day right around the corner, I want to encourage everyone to make safety your first priority. With the Sleepy Hollow Wildfire devastating our neighbors in Eastern Washington and the series of fires intentionally set along I-5 June 30th, as well as the home that burned on 27th Avenue recently, the potential for fire is at the forefront of my mind.
Boom City has become a beloved part of the Tulalip landscape over the last four decades. Ask an elder and you’ll hear about its humble beginnings when a handful of shacks were constructed every year to sell firecrackers, then torn down after to Fourth. Now this iconic summer village is transported one stand at a time from yards across the reservation to Quil Ceda Village. Boom City is an entrepreneurial incubator featuring over a hundred small businesses, each with their own character and panache. 
How many of you received your first training in business working at a fireworks stand? You learned to bargain, to understand the value of goods and to make sure you got a return on your investment. While fireworks have played an important role in creating business savvy in our community, they’re also a potential source heartache. Every year the hospital emergency room sees countless injuries related to fireworks, and the fire department works countless hours trying to keep our homes and lands safe. Unfortunately, they’re not always successful, which is why I’m asking you, our citizens, to take control of your safety and be extra careful this year.
Tulalip, like the entire State, is experiencing the effects of our drought. Our salmon hatchery is struggling to supply enough water to keep smolts alive and healthy. Our utilities department has instituted watering schedules to conserve water. Everywhere you look you see dry grass and wilted greenery. The Reservation is currently observing a burn ban. Add our current heat wave and not only is it fireworks season, it’s fire season. 
There are many ways to safely enjoy fireworks. One of my favorites is a professional fireworks display. The Seafair Summer Fourth on the shores of Lake Union is a favorite, Renton, Kirkland, Bainbridge Island and Bellevue are also hosting shows. If you want to stay a little closer to home the City of Arlington holds a fireworks show as part of their Frontier Days celebration. Everett hosts a downtown parade, festivities and the ‘Thunder on the Bay’ fireworks show on Grand Avenue park at 10:20 p.m., and for those of us with family in Darrington, you can look forward to family activities, a parade and fireworks at dusk. 
If you can’t give up your tradition of lighting fireworks, consider lighting them the same place you buy them. Boom City features an expanded lighting area this year. To make sure things stay safe, there are two staffers on duty and a water truck to extinguish any fires before they can expand. The other advantage to lighting fireworks at Boom City is that you don’t have to deal with the mess. Boom City employs a clean-up crew every year to take out the trash.
If you’re lighting at home, please be careful, use common sense and be safe. Some of the worst offenders for starting fires are unpredictable fireworks like jumping jacks. One of the popular buys this year, is a 500gram cake called ‘Feed the Beast’ in tribute to Marshawn Lynch. Fireworks like this are safer for a number of reasons, first, you get 24 shots by lighting a single fuse, which means there’s less chance of personal injury. Second, the display is high in the air, and the spark is gone by the time it reaches the ground. 
If you are lighting fireworks at home, prep the area. Make sure that you’re lighting on bare earth or pavement, not a dry grass field. Have a charged water hose ready. You might feel silly, but wear safety glasses to protect your eyes. Never allow children to light fireworks unsupervised and remember, fireworks and alcohol don’t mix. 
Last, remember that fireworks aren’t the only source of fire. Barbecues and campfires, lit cigarettes and even sparks from welding can start fire. To quote my good friend Smokey the Bear, only you can prevent wildfires. I want to wish everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July full of family, friends and great times. 
Mel Sheldon
Tulalip Tribes Chairman

Environmental Groups File Challenge to Oil Transport Rules

A train with oil tank cars idling in Philadelphia last month. The government has issued updated safety standards, which critics say do too little and the industry says are too strict.
A train with oil tank cars idling in Philadelphia last month. The government has issued updated safety standards, which critics say do too little and the industry says are too strict.



WASHINGTON — Seven environmental groups filed a lawsuit on Thursday challenging safety rules issued this month for trains carrying oil, arguing that the regulations are too weak to protect the public.

The groups, including the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, said the rules, issued on May 1, would allow the industry to continue to use “unsafe tank cars” for up to 10 years. They also said the rules failed to set adequate speed limits for oil trains.

“We’re suing the administration because these rules won’t protect the 25 million Americans living in the oil train blast zone,” said Todd Paglia, executive director of ForestEthics, one of the groups filing the lawsuit.

The United States and Canada issued the safety standards in response to a string of explosive accidents that have accompanied a surge in crude-by-rail shipments.

Under the rules, tank cars built before October 2011 known as DOT-111 are to be phased out within three years. DOT-111 tank cars are considered prone to puncture during accidents, increasing the risk of fire and explosions.

Tank cars without reinforced hulls built after October 2011 and known as CPC-1232 will be phased out by 2020.

In their filing, the groups asked the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to force the Transportation Department to reconsider the “unduly long phaseout period” for these tank cars, as well as the speed limit and public notification requirements in the rule.

While environmentalists have said the phaseout for the tank cars is too long, energy and rail groups have raised concerns that it would not be feasible to switch over the tank cars in the time allotted.

The American Petroleum Institute filed a lawsuit on Monday in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that challenges the timetable for retrofitting rail cars and the requirements for electronically controlled pneumatic brakes.

The new regulations are expected to cost an estimated $2.5 billion to adopt over the next two decades, according to estimates contained in the rules. Two-thirds of that amount would go to retrofit or retire existing tank cars.

W.Va. Oil Train Derailment Has NW Lawmakers Thinking About Safety

Reports say up to 18 oil trains a week travel along the Washington side of the Columbia River, and up to six oil trains a week are traveling through the state of Oregon along the Columbia River and through central Oregon.Tony Schick
Reports say up to 18 oil trains a week travel along the Washington side of the Columbia River, and up to six oil trains a week are traveling through the state of Oregon along the Columbia River and through central Oregon.
Tony Schick


By Courtney Flatt, OPB


This week’s fiery oil train derailment in West Virginia has lawmakers thinking about oil-by-rail safety through the Northwest. There has been a dramatic increase in oil trains traveling through the region to reach West coast refineries.

Committees in the Washington legislature are considering two bills. Senate Bill 5057 — supported by the oil industry — would expand the barrel tax to include oil shipped by rail. House Bill 1449 — supported by environmental groups — could change how oil-by-rail is regulated across the state.

“If there were to be an accident in Washington state, I, personally, would want to be able to say I did everything I could do to make sure that didn’t happen,” Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, said during a Ways and Means committee hearing.

Oil safety bills are also moving through the Oregon Legislature.

Darcy Nonemacher, the legislative director for the Washington Environmental Council, said the recent derailment has more people thinking about how oil is transported.

“I think the lesson is that we do need to act. There’s lots of things that need to happen whether it’s at the federal, state, or local level,” Nonemacher said.

The train that derailed in West Virginia was hauling oil with newer tank cars. Those newer designs are supposed to better handle derailments than older cars.

That’s why oil-by-rail critic Eric de Place says oil transportation safety is a major concern.

“We need to just hit pause. We need to stop doing it until we have a way to transport that oil safely, which we don’t have right now,” says de Place, a researcher at Seattle-based think tank Sightline Institute, which doesn’t support oil-by-rail.

In Washington, the oil and rail industries are supportive of Senate Bill 5057. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, will also take $10 million from the Model Toxics Control Account to allow the state Department of Ecology to provide grants for equipment and first responders.

“We believe it’s critical to implementing the policy in the underlying bill. We also believe this funding complements the efforts we have underway within the railroad to train locally first responder preparation efforts,” said Bill Stauffacher, with BNSF Railway.

House Bill 1449 would require planning for oil spill response in Washington state and it would require companies to disclose information about transportation routes.

Washington Governor Wants More Done To Ensure Oil Train Safety

By Liz Jones, KUOW

SEATTLE — Oil trains moving through Washington state need upgrades, and slower speed limits. That’s part of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee response to a new state report released Wednesday about the risks of oil transport. The report also lays out some key recommendations for the Legislature

“Sobering” is how Inslee summed up this draft report. In it, the State Department of Ecology points out more oil is moving through Washington by pipeline and railways. And with that, comes a cascade of risks…to public health, safety, and the environment.

Inslee agreed more needs to be done to prevent a major spill or a tragic train derailment.

“When these things go, I don’t want to use the term bomb. But I don’t know what is a better metaphor,” he said.

The metaphor holds, considering the inferno caused by an oil train explosion last year in the Canadian province of Quebec. It killed 47 people.

“This shouldn’t be too difficult for legislators to understand that we don’t intend to allow this risk to continue of oil blowing up in railroads next to Qwest Field and Safeco Field,” Inslee said.

The report recommends that state lawmakers add funds for a whole host of things, including:

  • More train inspectors, with beefed up authority
  • More oil spill response plans, equipment and training
  • Additional fees for railroads to pay for more safety inspections

The recommendations add up to more than $13 million for the next two-year budget.

Inslee said the report will help guide his legislative proposal for the upcoming session.

Beyond that, Inslee noted the feds regulate rail transport. And he’s called on them to lower the speed limits on oil trains and to move faster on required upgrades for old rail cars.

The public will have a chance to weigh in on these recommendations at meetings later this month.

This was first reported for KUOW.

Tips for keeping your pets safe when natural disasters happen

By BluePearl Veterinary Partners

SEATTLE – The patient care team at ACCES (A BluePearl Veterinary Partners) specialty and emergency hospital for pets in Seattle and Renton is encouraging pet parents to include their pets when making family disaster plans. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is sponsoring America’s PrepareAthon! on Sept. 30, as part of the federal government’s National Preparedness Month. The event is meant to motivate individuals, organizations and communities to prepare in advance for natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornados, wildfires and winter storms.

“Disasters can happen with little notice and be devastating. But being prepared can save your life or that of your family members — including your pets, ” said Amanda McNabb, emergency clinician with ACCES in Seattle, Washington, and a member of the WSDA Reserve Veterinary Corps. “That’s why we strongly recommend pets be included in your disaster preparedness plan.”

Here are some tips recommended by the ACCES team:


  • Keep current documentation of your pet’s medical records and vaccination history in the emergency kit.
  • Include your pet’s license information.
  • Have a current photograph of your pet in the kit.
  • Keep a checklist in the kit of items to pull together when a disaster is imminent, including these:Have an evacuation strategy: Have a list including addresses and phone numbers of specialized pet shelters, animal control shelters, veterinary clinics, and friends and relatives out of harm’s way who are potential refuges for your pet during a disaster. Familiarize yourself with the location of each so if you need to evacuate, you can plan your route accordingly.
    • Collar: Make sure your pet’s collar has an identification tag with your contact information.
    • Leash: Use a leash if you evacuate or bring your pet to a shelter because pets can become easily disoriented if they slip away from you.
    • Carrier: Have a properly sized pet carrier for each animal handy. Carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand and turn around.
    • Medications: Have a two-week supply of medications and care instructions to bring with you.
    • Food: A two-week supply of food should always be kept on-hand in case of an emergency.
    • Other: Make a list of other items to add at the last minute such as food, bowls, can opener, cat litter, water and cleaning supplies.


  • Gather together in one place all items on your pet’s emergency checklist. A laundry basket is easy to carry and a good size for this purpose.
  • Animals brought to a pet shelter may be required to have any or all of the following:Pet shelters will be filled on first come, first-served basis. Call ahead and determine availability.
    • Leash and collar with identification tag
    • Rabies tag
    • Identification on all belongings
    • Suitable carrier or cage
    • Ample supply of food, water and food bowls
    • Necessary medications and specific, written care instructions
    • Newspapers, trash bags and other supplies for clean-up
  • Bring pets indoors well in advance of a storm. Reassure and calm them throughout.
  • Monitor your pets’ behavior, because animals can become defensive or aggressive due to the stress of the situation.


  • Walk pets on leashes until they become re-oriented to the area. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily be confused and become lost.  Also, downed power lines, debris, snakes and other critters brought in with high water can all pose a threat for animals after a disaster.
  • If your pet is lost during a disaster, contact your local animal control office to find out where lost animals are being housed. Bring along the picture of your pet and information about the microchip.

About Us: ACCES (A BluePearl Veterinary Partners Hospital) serves the Puget Sound region by offering the highest quality specialty, critical care, emergency medicine and specialty services to veterinarians and their clients 24-hours a day/365 days a year at locations in Seattle and Renton. For more information on ACCES, please visit

BluePearl Veterinary Partners employs  1,800 team members including more than 450 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals offer referral-only, specialty care services and most offer 24-hour emergency care. BluePearl does not provide primary care. The company is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship programs. BluePearl also participates in clinical trials that investigate the effectiveness of new veterinary drugs and treatments, providing pet families access to cutting-edge medicine that is not yet commercially available. BluePearl is headquartered in Tampa, Fla. For more information on BluePearl Veterinary Partners, please visit

Report Finds Weakness In Seattle’s Ability To Respond To Oil Train Mishap

By Ashley Ahearn, KUOW


A new report by public safety agencies highlights several weaknesses in Seattle’s ability to respond to an oil train accident.

The report to the Seattle City Council was complied by the Seattle Fire Department and the Office of Emergency Management.

At the top of the report’s list of concerns: the 100 year old tunnel that runs through the middle of downtown Seattle. The report said that the lack of safety systems in the Great Northern tunnel will present significant challenges to first responders.

Next on the list: landslides along Puget Sound. The stretch of track between Seattle and Everett has banks that are prone to slides.

The report also found Seattle’s Citizen Notification System to be outdated. City officials could have to go door to door alerting residents in person in the event of an oil train emergency.

Train tracks are usually located in flat areas. In King County, that can also mean areas that are prone to liquefaction during an earthquake, the report found.

BNSF Railway spokeswoman Courtney Wallace did not respond to an interview request. She previously told via email that the report’s recommendations were under review. She later added that BNSF is working to connect its communication system in the tunnel with a system the fire department uses and that the company is also making plans to provide mobile fan units at both tunnel-ends.

A BNSF Railway oil train derailed in Seattle in July. No oil was spilled.

Especially volatile crude from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota is being transported by rail to refineries and ports throughout North America — including in the Northwest. Between 8 and 13 oil trains traveling through Seattle each week, according to rail industry reports made public this year.

Fireworks laws meant to keep people safe on July 4

Sales of fireworks have already begun at Boom City on the Tulalip Reservation. Other fireworks stands will begin sales off the reservation starting June 28.— image credit: Brandon Adam
Sales of fireworks have already begun at Boom City on the Tulalip Reservation. Other fireworks stands will begin sales off the reservation starting June 28.
— image credit: Brandon Adam


By Kirk Boxleitner, Arlington Times

While Arlington and Marysville encourage citizens to celebrate the Fourth of July, the cities’ police officers and firefighters want to make sure those who use fireworks do so safely and legally.

Arlington allows fireworks to be sold from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, through Friday, July 4, whereas Marysville allows sales from noon to 11 p.m. on June 28 and from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. from Sunday, June 29, through July 4.

Marysville residents may discharge fireworks only between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. July 4, while Arlington residents may discharge fireworks between 9 a.m. and midnight that day. Neither city allows residents to discharge fireworks any other day, outside of New Year’s, and both cities limit their legal fireworks to Class C, or “safe and sane” fireworks.

Native American reservations may sell fireworks that do not conform to those laws, but such fireworks must be detonated on reservation lands. The fireworks stands of “Boom City” on the Tulalip Tribal Reservation provide a lighting and detonation area on site for customers. Security personnel will monitor the area to ensure that children age 12 and younger have adults age 18 or older present.

Fireworks that are illegal off tribal lands include bottle rockets, skyrockets, missiles and firecrackers. M-80s and larger, as well as dynamite and any improvised, homemade or altered explosive devices, such as tennis balls, sparkler bombs or cherry bombs, are likewise illegal. Anyone who possesses or uses such illegal devices can expect to be charged with a felony.

State Fire Marshal Charles Duffy is reminding Washingtonians that the purchase of fireworks over the Internet is illegal. Fireworks must be purchased from a licensed retail fireworks stand during the legal sales period.

In its online list of tips to the public, the Arlington Fire Department noted that illegal fireworks are often unpackaged and wrapped in plain brown paper, and warned against purchasing any fireworks that are not in their original packages, or are in opened or damaged packages.

Marysville police are taking enforcement seriously. Up until two years ago, they mainly issued warnings to those caught with illegal fireworks. “Warnings weren’t effective in ending the activity,” Marysville Police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux said. “Anyone caught with illegal fireworks will be cited, and the fireworks will be confiscated.”

Under state law, possession or discharge of illegal fireworks is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to a year in jail and a mandatory court appearance.

City Public Information Officer Doug Buell pointed out that Marysville police can issue criminal citations to violators or civil citations, the latter similar to a speeding ticket. Lamoureux explained that such civil infractions enable officers to spend more time on the streets responding to fireworks complaints, and less time processing paperwork.

He added that Marysville police plan to have more officers on duty during this year’s Fourth of July, and emphasized that the safety of individuals and property is of utmost concern. “We have seen too many instances elsewhere and over the years where celebrations quickly turned to tragedy for families, especially where children and teenagers are involved,” Lamoureux said.

Although Arlington Fire Deputy Chief Tom Cooper believes that Arlington police and fire personnel are more likely to try and educate those using illegal fireworks, he warned that they will likely be more proactive and visible in various neighborhoods that have experienced problems with fireworks before.

“As much as the Fourth of July is a patriotic holiday, there are more than a few veterans who have a hard time dealing with fireworks because of their experiences,” Cooper said. “If people limit their fireworks activities to the Fourth, it allows those folks, as well as those who own easily spooked pets, to make arrangements.”

Officials in both cities urge Fourth of July revelers to clean up their fireworks. “After you light it up, clean it up,” Buell said. “Discarded fireworks the days after the Fourth are a neighborhood and community eyesore, and smoldering fireworks can still pose a fire hazard if you don’t get rid of them properly.”

To dispose of spent fireworks properly, the Arlington Fire Department advises that people let their used fireworks lay on the ground until they are cool, and there is no chance that any residue will reignite, after which they should place all the expended firework cases in a bucket of water. Those who use fireworks should keep a bucket of water or a running water hose close by.

“We want people in our community to enjoy fireworks and the Fourth, but we want them to do so safely, which is why we’re encouraging them to attend public fireworks shows, like the one at the Arlington Boys & Girls Club,” Cooper said. “Those shows are professional, well-organized, safe and, at least in Arlington, free.”

Cooper cautioned against treating certain fireworks dismissively because of their size. “People tend to think that smaller fireworks are less dangerous,” Cooper said. “That’s how they get injured, from standing too close to those fireworks, or over them, or even by holding bottle rockets with their bare hands.”

No scientific consensus on GMO safety – scientists release statement saying public is being misled

Earth Open Source, Monday 21 October 2013

There is no scientific consensus that genetically modified foods and crops are safe, according to a statement released today by an international group of over 85 scientists, academics and physicians.[1]

The statement comes in response to recent claims from the GM industry and some scientists and commentators that there is a “scientific consensus” that GM foods and crops are safe for human and animal health and the environment. The statement calls such claims “misleading” and states, “The claimed consensus on GMO safety does not exist.”

Commenting on the statement, one of the signatories, Professor Brian Wynne, associate director and co-principal investigator from 2002-2012 of the UK ESRC Centre for the Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, Cesagen, Lancaster University, said: “There is no consensus amongst scientific researchers over the health or environmental safety of GM crops and foods, and it is misleading and irresponsible for anyone to claim that there is. Many salient questions remain open, while more are being discovered and reported by independent scientists in the international scientific literature. Indeed some key public interest questions revealed by such research have been left neglected for years by the huge imbalance in research funding, against thorough biosafety research and in favour of the commercial-scientific promotion of this technology.”


Another signatory, Professor C. Vyvyan Howard, a medically qualified toxicopathologist based at the University of Ulster, said: “A substantial number of studies suggest that GM crops and foods can be toxic or allergenic, and that they can have adverse impacts on beneficial and non-target organisms. It is often claimed that millions of Americans eat GM foods with no ill effects. But as the US has no GMO labelling and no epidemiological studies have been carried out, there is no way of knowing whether the rising rates of chronic diseases seen in that country have anything to do with GM food consumption or not. Therefore this claim has no scientific basis.”

A third signatory to the statement, Andy Stirling, professor of science and technology policy at Sussex University and member of the UK government’s GM Science Review Panel, said: “The main reason some multinationals prefer GM technologies over the many alternatives is that GM offers more lucrative ways to control intellectual property and global supply chains. To sideline open discussion of these issues, related interests are now trying to deny the many uncertainties and suppress scientific diversity. This undermines democratic debate – and science itself.”

The scientists’ statement was released by the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility in the week after the World Food Prize was awarded to employees of the GM seed giants Monsanto and Syngenta and UK environment secretary Owen Paterson branded opponents of GM foods as “wicked”.

Signatories of the statement include prominent and respected scientists, including Dr Hans Herren, a former winner of the World Food Prize and an Alternative Nobel Prize laureate, and Dr Pushpa Bhargava, known as the father of modern biotechnology in India.

Claire Robinson, research director at Earth Open Source commented, “The joint statement and comments of the senior scientists and academics make clear those who claim there is a scientific consensus over GMO safety are really engaged in a partisan bid to shut down debate.

“We have to ask why these people are so desperate to prevent further exploration of an issue that is of immense significance for the future of our food and agriculture. We actually need not less but more public debate on the impacts of this technology, particularly given the proven effective alternatives that are being sidelined in the rush to promote GM.”


Summary of the statement, “No scientific consensus on GMO safety”:

1. There is no scientific consensus that GM crops and foods are safe for human and animal health.

2. A peer-reviewed review of safety studies on GM crops and foods found about an equal number of research groups raising concerns about GMO safety as groups concluding safety. However, most researchers concluding safety were affiliated with biotechnology companies that stood to profit from commercializing the GM crop concerned.

3. A review that is often cited to show GM crops and foods are safe in fact includes studies that raised concerns. Scientists disagree about the interpretation of these findings.

4. No epidemiological studies have been carried out to find out if GM crops are affecting human health, so claims that millions of Americans eat GM foods with no ill effects have no scientific basis.

5. There is no scientific consensus on the safety of GM crops for the environment. Studies have associated GM herbicide-tolerant crops with increased herbicide use and GM insecticidal crops with unexpected toxic impacts on non-target organisms.

6. A survey among scientists showed that those who received funding from biotech companies were more likely to believe GM crops were safe for the environment, whereas independent scientists were more likely to emphasize uncertainties.

7. Although some scientific bodies have made broadly supportive statements about GM over the years, these often contain significant caveats, call for better regulation, and draw attention to the risks as well as the potential benefits of GMOs. A statement by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) claiming GMO safety was challenged by 21 scientists, including long-standing members of the AAAS.

8. International agreements such as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety exist because experts worldwide believe that a strongly precautionary attitude is justified in the case of GMOs. Concerns about risks are well-founded, as can be seen by the often complex, contradictory, and inconclusive findings of safety studies on GMOs.