Wednesday, May 14, 2014

GMO - a thoughtful exploration of the science, politics and fears

I do not know enough to evaluate GMOs but the positions around the issues such as use, labeling and sale of GMO crops and food are significant and have led to violent confrontations and hardened positions. And yet, there is much not known. It is worthy of exploration and clarification.

This quotation is from a most interesting article about GMOs:

"Though opposition to GMOs has its roots in the liberal environmental movement, an increasing number of environmental writers and thinkers have begun to take the industry’s side in the debate, pointing to an overwhelming scientific consensus  —based on hundreds of independent, non-industry-funded, peer-reviewed, long-range studies—that GMOs are safe. The scariest recent study, which claimed that GMOs caused tumors in rats, was the work of a rogue laboratory in France whose findings have been widely debunked. The National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, the U.K.’s Royal Society, the European Commission, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest have all sought to weigh GMOs’ purported risks, and found that there is no evidence they are dangerous.

And yet GMOs are the subject of widespread fear and antagonism. University labs accused (not always accurately) of conducting GMO research funded by Monsanto have in the past been burned down   by eco-terrorists. This type of sabotage has been rare in the past decade, but it may be making a comeback: Last year, a field of GMO sugar beets in Oregon was destroyed by vandals. Scientists and journalists who voice pro-GMO opinions are accustomed to being dismissed as industry shills, personally vilified, and even receiving death threats. Headlines on food blogs warn of“mutant GMO foods.”   In the D.C. area, a car topped with a giant half-fish, half-tomato—the “fishy tomato”  —roams the streets; the car’s hood reads “LABEL GMO FOOD.” In the popular imagination, GMOs are scary."

For the full article see the link below - and if you are interested, see also some of the very heated comments: