Sign if you agree: No GMO food tests on humans

CREDO action
Sign if you agree: Don't test GMO food on humans.

Sign the petition to Iowa State University and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:
"The testing of transgenic bananas on human subjects raises health, environmental, and ethical concerns. Immediately halt all plans to test genetically modified food on humans."

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Dear 5849376,

Don't test GMO food on humans!

Researchers at Iowa State University (ISU) are preparing to test genetically modified bananas on university students for future cultivation and consumption by vitamin-deficient people in Uganda.1

Despite protests by fellow scientists, students,2 and over 100 national and international organizations, much of the study's details have been kept under wraps, and the administrators and researchers at ISU have refused to engage publicly on the ethical and health impacts of the study.

These GMO bananas have not yet been tested conclusively on animals.3 We must pressure Iowa State University and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is funding this study, to halt this unethical and potentially dangerous human study immediately.

Tell Iowa State University and the Gates Foundation: Don't test GMO food on humans. Click here to sign the petition.

It's unclear whether creating and growing this genetically modified banana is even necessary.

It has been genetically engineered for the purpose of helping people living in sub-Saharan Africa produce more vitamin A — but GMO bananas may be a solution in search of a problem.

A coalition of over 100 U.S., African, and international organizations, scholars, and doctors expressed deep concern over these human feeding trials in an open letter to administrators at ISU and the Gates Foundation. In their letter, the coalition questions the necessity of GMO food for vitamin A enrichment in developing countries, citing government success in the Philippines to improve access to vitamin A rich food rather than relying on genetically modified crops.4

Tell Iowa State University and the Gates Foundation: Don't test GMO food on humans. Click here to sign the petition.

In addition to the health concerns, the production of this GMO banana also raises major concerns regarding the local control of the food system in developing countries.5 Since these bananas will be seedless, researchers and other officials have yet to clarify who will own and distribute this essential staple crop. As one African activist put it, "We have this suspicion that we are surrendering our sovereignty over the food system to the corporates in the long run."6

While ISU has brushed aside concerns about the feeding trials, a coalition of ISU students has increased pressure on university researchers and administrators to address multiple issues of transparency, ethics, safety, efficacy and necessity of the study, claiming the university is misusing state funds and lab space to conduct a potentially unethical and unsafe human trial.7

We must have these students' backs as they mount a campaign to keep ISU from conducting these human feeding trials of GMO bananas. By lending our voice to theirs, we have a real chance at preventing this GMO banana from coming to market.

Tell Iowa State University and the Gates Foundation: Don't test GMO food on humans. Click here to sign the petition.

Thanks for all you do.

Josh Nelson, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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  1. Tony Leys, "ISU researcher to test altered bananas," The Des Moines Register, August 2, 2014
  2. "Letter: Jeopardizing ISU student's health and Uganda's future?, Ames Tribune, September 20, 2015
  3. "Another unethical GMO human trial planned," GM Watch, August 3 2014
  4. AFSA Open Letter Opposing Human Feeding Trials Involving GM Banana, December 09, 2014
  5. Simone Adler, "How Bill Gates Is Causing the Collapse of Traditional Farming and Local Food Economies," Alternet, December 4, 2015
  6. Oliver Wright, "The GM crops debate moves to Africa – and it's just as noisy," March 22, 2015
  7. Transgenic Bananas? A Critical Dialogue on the Ethics, Implications, and Alternatives


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