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Jun 13

More than 275 organizations and scientific institutions support the safety of GM crops

poradagmo

Currently there is a social and political controversy about the safety of foods produced from genetically modified (GM) crops, however, in the scientific community there is no dispute or controversy regarding the safety of these crops. To date, more than 2000 scientific studies have assessed the safety of these crops in terms of human health and environmental impact. These studies together with several reviews performed on a case by case from regulatory agencies around the world, have enabled a solid and clear scientific consensus: GM crops have no more risk than those that have been developed by conventional breeding techniques.

This document brings together the public statements of organizations and scientific institutions that adhere to this consensus. I made an update based on this document from ChileBio that include 40 official documents representing about 190 institutions.

The update shows that 278 scientific institutions and organizations recognize the safety of GM crops and their potential benefits. Interestingly a large part of these institutions are located in Europe, the continent that has put more obstacles to the commercialization of these crops. On the other hand, the countries with most organizations in favor of GM crops are United Kingdom (33), United States (24), Italy (23), Spain (16) and Germany (11).


Actualmente existe a nivel social y político una polémica en torno a la seguridad de los alimentos transgénicos, los cuales han sido producidos a partir de cultivos genéticamente modificados (GM), sin embargo, a nivel científico no existe polémica o controversia respecto a la seguridad de este tipo de cultivos. A la fecha, más de 2000 estudios científicos que han evaluado la seguridad de estos cultivos a nivel de salud humana e impacto ambiental, y estos, junto a diversas revisiones caso por caso de agencias regulatorias alrededor del mundo, han permitido establecer un consenso científico sólido y claro: los cultivos GM no presentan mayor riesgo que los que han sido desarrollados por técnicas de mejoramiento convencional.

El presente documento reúne a las organizaciones e instituciones científicas que a través de declaraciones publicas adhieren a este consenso. He hecho una actualización utilizando como base un documento de ChileBio que incluye 40 documentos oficiales que representan a aproximadamente 190 instituciones.

La actualización arrojó una cifra de 278 instituciones científicas y organizaciones que reconocen la seguridad de los cultivos GM y sus potenciales beneficios. Curiosamente la mayor cantidad de estas instituciones se ubican en Europa, el continente que más obstáculos ha puesto a la comercialización de estos cultivos. Por otro lado, los países que cuentan con mayor cantidad de organizaciones a favor de los cultivos GM son el Reino Unido (33), Estados Unidos (24), Italia (23), España (16) y Alemania (11).


  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • North America
  • Oceania
  • International Organizations

Africa (14)

South Africa Academy of Science of South Africa GMOs for African Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities (2010)
Continent Academies of Sciences from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Declaration of the 9th Annual Meeting of African Science Academies (2013)
Continent International Society of African Scientists Potential Benefits of Biotechnology to Agriculture in Africa and the Caribbean (2001)
Continent AfricaBio Position Statements on Biotechnology (Undated)

Asia (4)

China Chinese Academy of Sciences Transgenic Plants and World Agriculture (2000)
India Indian National Academy of Sciences Transgenic Plants and World Agriculture (2000)
India Indian National Academy of Agricultural Sciences GM Crops for Nutritional Security (2014)
Philippines National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Filipino Scientists in Support of Biotechnology (2001)

Europe (87)

Czech Republic Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic White Book: Genetically Modified Crops (2009)
France French Academy of Sciences Genetically Modified Plants (2002)
Germany National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) | German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) | Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities In support of a new policy on Green Genetic Engineering (2009)
Germany Union of the German Academies of Science and Humanities (8 academies) Are There Health Hazards for the Consumer from Eating Genetically Modified Food? (2006)
Germany Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF Research Programme: Biological safety research on genetically modified organisms (2014)
Italy National Academy of Science | Lincean Academy Plant biotechnology and GMO variety (2007)
Italy Joint statement of 14 scientific intitutions of Italy Food safety and GMOs. Consensus Document (2004)
Italy Joint statement of 21 scientific intitutions of Italy Coexistence of Traditional, Organic and Genetically Modified Crops (2006)
Netherlands Plant Research International – Wageningen UR Sustainability of current GM crop cultivaton (2011)
Spain Declaration promoted by the Spanish Bioindustry Association (ASEBIO) and signed by more than 150 Spanish scientists from different universities and research institutes. Science, progress and environment (2007)
Spain Declaration promoted by the National Association of Plant Breeders (ANOVE) and signed by 14 Spanish institutions Press release (2010)
United Kingdom Royal Society of London Transgenic Plants and World Agriculture (2000) | Genetically modified plants for food use and human health—an update (2002) | Reaping the benefits: Science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture (2009) | GM Plants: Questions and Answers (2016)
United Kingdom Royal Society of Medicine Genetically modified plants and human health (2008)
United Kingdom Royal Society of Edinburgh RSE Calls for a Rational GM Debate (2015)
United Kingdom Biochemical Society UK Genetically Modified Crops, Feed and Food: A Biochemical Society position statement (2011)
United Kingdom British Medical Association Genetically modified foods and health: a second interim statement (2004)
United Kingdon Letter signed by 32 scientific and agricultural institutions Letter to Scottish Government from research organisations (2015)
United Kingdon Science and Technology Committee – House of Commons (UK) EU regulation on GM Organisms not ‘fit for purpose’ (2015)
Vatican Pontifical Academy of Sciences Transgenic Plants for Food Security in the Context of Development (2010)
European Union European Commission A Decade of EU Funded GMO Research (2010)                                           
European Union European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC)

Planting the future: opportunities and challenges for using crop genetic improvement technologies for sustainable agriculture (2013)

European Union European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) FAQ on genetically modified organisms (2012) | Safety and nutritional assessment of GM plants and derived food and feed: The role of animal feeding trials (2008)

* In this table the academies of Germany are 10, in the case of United Kingdom there are 33 institutions; 22 institutions from Italy, and 14 from Spain.

* The European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) currently has 29 members: one representative each from the 25 national science academies of EU member states, the Academia Europaea,  ALLEA, and also representatives of the Norwegian and Swiss national academies of sciences.

Latin America (8)

Argentina Nutrition Society of Argentina (SAN) Transgenic Food: SAN Position (2012) | Biotechnology and genetically modified food: Answers to frequently asked questions (Undated)
Argentina International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Safety of Genetically Modified Organisms: The case of GM soy in Argentina (2004) Pages 22-27 | Biotechnology and genetically modified food: Answers to frequently asked questions (Undated)
Brazil Brazilian Academy of Sciences Transgenic Plants and World Agriculture (2000)
Brazil Brazilian Association of Nutrition* ABRAN supports the development of GMOs with better nutritional properties* (2005)
Chile Chilean Academy of Sciences Declaration of the Chilean Academy of Sciences on GM crops (2004)
Chile Chilean Academy of Agricultural Sciences Position of the Chilean Academy of Agricultural Sciences on GMOs (2011) | Pages 10-13
Mexico Mexican Academy of Sciences Transgenic Plants and World Agriculture (2000) | For the responsible use of GMOs (2011)
Peru Peruvian Association for the Development of Biotechnology (PeruBiotec) PeruBiotec takes up the challenge (2009)

The source is an interview where is mentioned the support of  “Brazilian Association of Nutrition” to biofortified GM crops. A public statement should be corroborated.

North America (27)

Canada Canadian Cancer Society

Food Issues: Genetically modified foods (Undated)

Canada Royal Society of Canada Elements of Precaution: Recommendations for the Regulation of Food Biotechnology in Canada (2001)
Canada Health Canada

Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified Foods (Undated)

USA National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Transgenic Plants and World Agriculture (2000) | Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States (2010)
USA Institute of Medicine (IOM) & National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies.

Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods: Approaches to Assessing Unintended Health Effects (2004)

USA National Academies (NRC, NAS, NAM)

Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects

(2016)

USA American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Science and Public Health Report (2012)
USA American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Statement by the AAAS Board of Directors On Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods (2012)
USA American Council of Science and Health (ACSH) Biotechnology and Food (Second Edition) (2000)
USA Society of Toxicology (SOT)

The Safety of Genetically Modified Foods Produced through Biotechnology (2003)

USA American Dietetic Association Position of the American Dietetic Association: Agricultural and food biotechnology (2006)
USA Genetics Society of America Assessing Benefits and Risks of Genetically Modified Organisms (2001)
USA American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)

ASCB Statement in Support of Research on Genetically Modified Organisms (2009)

USA American Society of Plant Biology (ASPB) Statement on Plant Genetic Engineering (2006)

Plant scientists: GM technology is safe (2016)

USA American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Statement of the American Society for Microbiology on Genetically Modified Organisms (2000)
USA American Phytopathological Society (APS) APS Statement on Biotechnology and its Application to Plant Pathology (2001)
USA Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) Position Statement on Crop Engineering (Undated)
USA Crop Science Society of America CSSA Perspective on Biotechnology (2001)
USA Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Crop Biotechnology and the Future of Food: A Scientific Assessment (2005)
USA Federation of Animal Sciences Societies (FASS) – representing the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) and the Poultry Science Association (PSA). FASS Facts On Biotech Crops – Impact on Meat, Milk and Eggs (2001)
USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Questions & Answers on Food from Genetically Engineered Plants (2015)

USA Entomological Society of America

ESA Position Statement on Transgenic Insect-Resistant Crops (2001)

USA American Cancer Society

Common questions about diet and cancer: Genetically modified foods (2016)

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) has become The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). While the above statement reflected the ADA’s position the president of AND has stated that AND is currently neutral and has no position on GMOs.

Oceania (7)

Australia Australian Academy of Science

Submission to the Inquiry into Primary Producer Access to Gene Technology (1999)

Statement gene technology and plants (2007)

Australia Biotechnology Ministerial Council Australian Biotechnology: A National Strategy (2000)
Australia Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Biotechnology Strategy (2002)
Australia National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) Biotechnology Position Statement (Undated)
Australia Australia’s Biotechnology Organization (AusBiotech) Backing innovation: The way forward for Australian agriculture (2004)
Australia & New Zealand Food Standards Australia – New Zealand

Review of genetically modified food safety assessments (2009)

New Zealand New Zealand Royal Commission

Report of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification (2000)

International Organizations (13)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Modern food biotechnology, human health and development: an evidence-based study (2005)

Frequently asked questions on genetically modified foods (2002)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) FAO Statement on Biotechnology (2001) | Frequently Asked Questions about FAO and Agricultural Biotechnology (2011)
Thirld  Word Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Transgenic Plants and World Agriculture (2000)
International Council for Science (ICSU)* New Genetics, Food and Agriculture: Scientific Discoveries – Societal Dilemmas (2003)
International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST)  IUFoST Scientific Bulletin on Biotechnology and Food (2005)
International Seed Federation (ISF) Position Paper on Genetically Modified Crops and Plant Breeding (2005)
International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) Statement on Benefits and Risks of Genetically Modified Foods for Human Health and Nutrition (Undated)
Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Agricultural Biotechnology and the Poor: Promethean Science (2000)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) UNDP Report Supports Biotechnology (2001)

AgBioWorld Foundation [Declaration signed by 25 Nobel Prize winners and more than 3,400 scientists]

Scientists In Support Of Agricultural Biotechnology (2011)
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) The OECD Edinburgh Conference on the Scientific and Health Aspects of Genetically Modified Foods (2000)
International Society for Plant Pathology. Genetic modification for disease resistance: a position paper (2016)
International Congress on Poverty, hunger and emerging food (Catholic University of Valencia, Spain) Press: The World Congress against hunger concludes that GM doesn’t affect health (2016)

* The document from the International Council for Science (ICSU) was signed in 2003 by 101 science academies and 27 scientific unions. ICSU currently has 31 Scientific Union Members and 121 National Scientific Members.


Final number

After categorizing the different institutions from Africa (14), Asia (4), Europe (87), Latin America (8), North America (27), Oceania (7) and internationals (13), a total of 154 institutions was obtained. If we add the 101 academies and 27 scientific unions that signed the document of the International Council for Science (ICSU), we get a figure of 288 institutions.

mapa icus

Map with the countries where reside the members of ICSU. Source: http://www.icsu.org/

However, in the current 121 national scientific institutions that are members of ICSU, 13 already appear on the categorization by continents – the academies of sciences of Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Czech Republic, France, India, Kenya, Ghana, Vatican, Mexico, UK and United States, and these academies where members of ICSU before the document was signed in 2003. Therefore, if we subtract these 13 members, we get a figure of 275 institutions.

But we must note that the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) is composed by 29 members, and 26 already appear on the categorization by continents or in the declaration of ICSU. So we must add the 3 remaining institutions (ALLEA, ‘Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts’, and the ‘Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences’).

In conclusion, 278 institutions and organizations recognize that GM crops are not riskier than those produced by conventional breeding, as well as the potential benefits of these crops.

 


Cifra final

Después de categorizar las diferentes instituciones de África (14), Asia (4), Europa (87), Latinoamérica (8), Norteamérica (27), Oceanía (7) e internacionales (13), se obtiene una suma de 125 instituciones. Si a esto sumamos las 101 academias y 27 uniones científicas que firmaron el documento del Consejo Internacional para la Ciencia (ICSU), obtenemos una cifra de 288 instituciones.

mapa icus

Mapa con los países donde residen los miembros de ICSU. Fuente: http://www.icsu.org/

Sin embargo, dentro de las actuales 121 instituciones científicas nacionales que son miembro de ICSU, hay 13 que ya aparecen en la categorización por continentes (las academias de ciencias de Australia, Brasil, Camerún, Chile, República Checa, Francia, India, Kenya, Ghana, Vaticano, México, Reino Unido y Estados Unidos), y que son miembros de ICSU desde antes que se firmará el documento en el año 2003. Si restamos estos 13 miembros, la cifra queda en 275 instituciones.

Pero debemos notar que la European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) esta compuesta por 29 miembros, y 26 de estos ya aparecen en la categorización por continentes o en la declaración del ICSU. Así que debemos sumar las 3 instituciones restantes (ALLEA, Academia de Ciencias y Artes de Croacia, y la Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales de España).

En conclusión, la cifra final es de 278 instituciones y organizaciones que reconocen que los cultivos GM no son más riesgosos que los producidos por métodos convencionales, así como sus potenciales beneficios.


Documentos de consulta recomendados sobre cultivos GM

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11 comments

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  1. William

    Excellent – thanks for your work!

  2. Donald E Tiers

    This kind of reporting may be unsubstantiated. Please document the holding companies of the source material. You may find the truth is harder to post than fiction. When the information is gathered from papers written several years ago, it may have been skewed and paid for by certain companies. I remember when Doctors would advise letting children smoke cigarettes based on information paid for by tobacco companies.

  3. Eric Bjerregaard

    Donald E.Tiers, You disgusting piece of slime. Daniel goes through all the research to produce this and you, without any evidence, research or specific knowledge of even one error try to impugn his facts and integrity. Feel free to come visit my farm sometime. Bring medical supplies.

  4. Piedro Asante

    This is an excellently thorough piece of research work by the author. Anyone sensible challenge should be directed at what the quoted long litany of institutions state, not at the messenger!! The problem lies in the utter negation of the truth, facts and figures which are itchy like hot pepper in the eyes and sour mouths of anti-science cults. So they go on to attack the messengers in the typical mafia and Nazi-style well-documented by society. We in Africa — where such cultic fellows are in plenty even at universities – sprouting from their grandmother, the multinational campaigner (MNC) Greenpeace. This nasty militaristic/militia-styled MNC should be appropriately re-named “Green-war” abolished and its branches outlawed like India is doing. The “Greenwar” is a bioterrorist grouping that lays eggs and sows seeds of devil-kids like Donal E. Tiers who are cynics, skeptics, denialists, haters, techno-phobics (but purchase latest models of phones, computers and have fridges and freezers full of rotting food, some of it from GM-crops, yet keep displaying ugly GMO-freakness! What a world it would have been without such freaks. “Green-war” has misled society with lies manufactured by European and North America chemical multinational companies whose products are being threatened by GM technology e.g Bt (naturally-built defence mechanism for cotton and maize) that enable farmers grow the two normally large-scale plantation crops with reduced pesticide spraying. This reduced pesticide spraying is a huge loss to multi-billion chemical companies, which now sponsor the MNC Greenpeace to decampaign GM-technologies including where billion-population countries like India are vigorously adopting them. In USA, Canada, Brazil and China — lately Sudan and Cuba, large scale Bt-cotton and Bt-maize growing countries would be buying large amounts of pesticides in millions of tonnes with which to spray against stem-borers (in maize) and bollworms (in cotton). But thanks to molecular scientists, the Br-technology is saving the world of pesticides. Not surprisingly, because the anti-GM freaks are challenged by farmers’ rapid adoption of such GM-technologies as Bts, have turned around the great Indian Bt-Cotton story of harvesting larger amounts of cotton into a negative. They blatantly claim that because of Bt cotton, Indian farmers commit suicides!! U ask them what the connection, they craft it around crop losses and increased use of pesticides — look around for lie of Vendana Shiva (a diehard anti-GMO shiverer)!! What has been solved is what these evil-minded fellows turn into a problem for Indian Bt-cotton!
    Yet India’s poor, bad, unfair class system has deprived the largely subsistence farmers landless, hence to grow any crop including Bt and non-Bt cotton, for any losses occasioned by any factors including drought, flooding, bad seed, or utter failure to repay agricultural or any other loans borrowed for rent-land, leads to committing suicide. Some Indian farmers mortgage their internal body organs as security for renting land, and should their crop fail for any reason, the landlords demand for the body organ, to be sold. Why isn’t it Shiva and her likes’ campaign to deal with the actual/real causes of landliness since it is the problem. And instead they have coined lies and jumped onto what is easy prey — technology Bt Cotton!! Is Bt-cotton being grown by the Japanese, Americans and those with the world’s highest suicide rates? Is it Bt-cotton responsible for the high suicides rates in Russia, Europe, Australia, in Africa and the rest of Asia? The “Greenwar” has photo-shopped pictures of grotesque creatures depicted as products of genetic engineering, and in a more gullible world like Africa, farmers are suffering from vagaries of nature (devastating pests, diseases, drought) but fear adopting resistant GM seeds due to the evil handwork of Greenpeace and her evil kids. The world should wake up to destruction of GP.

  5. yoshio kitaro

    el dinero santifica todo….

  6. Fabián

    Hola, el enlace del Colegio de Ingenieros Agrónomos de Chile está caído.

  7. Admin-Bt

    Gracias por avisar. Ya lo arreglamos. Saludos

  8. John Ellis MD, MPH

    The anti-science crowd uses associations to substitute for proof. They apparently do not know much of the scientific method and run to legislatures instead of being educated. They say less is more and more is less and have no qualm about using radiation or mutagenic chemicals for development of new seed varieties and happily plant such seeds at their organic farms.

    If I am writing a book about the far off future and need a year with a solar eclipse, I can either poll out my Ouji board or ask the scientists. Carl Sagen warned us in his last book, Demon-Haunted world of this dumbing down of America and it is here in full force. These are the climate change and vaccine deniers who think a small group of poorly trained people know more than 90% of the scientists. They claim the recent report of U.S. National Academy of Sciences on GMO foods should be taken “just for what it is-a political statement” to support U.S. biotech companies. For me, I’ll go with the scientists. Some of the most promising new drugs are genetically engineered, and they want us to dump those, too. Billions of meals and billions of farm animals fed GMO products and not one documented case of illness. All this they want to ignore and go back to the Middle Ages..

  9. Eric Bjerregaard

    Daniel, I am trying to find a few links to statements from some of these organizations. For now specifically the BMA and the Royal society from Canada. Can you assist. What appear to be links on the right of your list don’t work.

  10. Jim Williams

    Everyone gets on the internet, reads a few articles and related information from non-scientists. Then, they autonomously appoint themselves as experts. And all this on a full stomach, I might add, that is almost 100% due to the efforts of all the good science work that has been accomplished.

    Now Eric as promised, here is my pasted response for the day to all these folks:

    Of course you people are always right, and on a full stomach too. You Libbys are always right about this gmo issue and the other bad things that we are continually doing in agriculture. My goodness, we are so wicked, mean, and trying to destroy human kind. BTW lady, if you do not want me responding to your whining and naysayer nonsense, all you have to do is get off the blog. It’s simple, like my attitude toward all y’all Libbys. I guess that you also think it is too soon to be sure that all the other crop science work that has been accomplished by our ag science folks, is safe. Again, on a full stomach. From your comments, I’d guess that you also believe, if it didn’t come from you naysayers (and on that full stomach), that it is just not believable. About 3.75 B years from now when H. sapiens no longer exists, I’ll give your attitude some consideration. Until then, you can just kiss my grits (and they’re made from gmo corn). This is the ‘Libby Mentality’. Sad! Need to remove those genes from the ‘world gene pool’.

  11. Jim Williams

    I changed my mind, I’m not yet done for the day. These comments apply to all concerned experts:

    Andrea, I see that you are a financial analyst in NYC. But I’m curious, when did you become an agricultural scientist? Did you do it online or through the internet? Just asking. Also, I’m wondering if you have missed any meals lately? It’s easy to criticize everything that you eat, on a full stomach. Would you also be against all of our agronomic and agricultural technological advances if they didn’t exist, and a gallon of milk costs $10, potatoes cost $5 a pound, organic iceberg lettuce is already $4 a head, most vegetables and fruit would likely go up 10X (that is, if they were even available), oh, and meats of all kinds: gosh. The impact of these high prices to the consumer? And the consequences to being able to feed the world population? Likely, 75-90% of the current population would not be able to afford to have even a minimal, survivable diet. Even you NYC folks, with all your money, would likely be having to make extreme choices: you know, like paying the mortgage/rent or eating; paying for your kid’s private schooling or eating; paying for all of your fancy cars or eating; a few little economic considerations of that nature.

    I’m not quite finished here my dear. I’m also curious as to how all of your extensive genetics research and knowledge is coming along, in your scientific evaluation of the terrible consequences of genome science, that all the other ‘real scientists’ have unraveled and developed, and I might add here, for the betterment of human kind. Again, as I have asked so many times before, why is the use of genetics and genomic science so bad for agriculture, and so good for medicine/medical science? Have you bothered to try to learn (and this is key: to understand) even a tidbit of all the genomic science that is now in the public domain, following dedicated and peer reviewed research/findings? Have you? Do you really think that evolution and development of Eucaryotic organisms (plant or animals) over the last 3.8B years, has happened by chance. Oh, I want to be this genus and species, so I’ll start my own kind. Good grief, get real! Give me a break Andrea: tend to your financial analyst job and leave the agricultural and genomics science to the experts in the fields. Regards to NYC!!!! LOL!

    Now, I’m done for the day. Notice that keyword ‘day’.

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