_Scientific American_ Supports GMO Foods

In its September 6 issue, Scientific American published an editorial supporting genetically modified foods and opposing GMO labeling:

Instead of providing people with useful information, mandatory GMO labels would only intensify the misconception that so-called Frankenfoods endanger people’s health [see “The Truth about Genetically Modified Food”]. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the World Health Organization and the exceptionally vigilant European Union agree that GMOs are just as safe as other foods. Compared with conventional breeding techniques—which swap giant chunks of DNA between one plant and another—genetic engineering is far more precise and, in most cases, is less likely to produce an unexpected result.

This last point is critical. In the absence of targeted genetic engineering, the way food scientists develop new strains of fruits and vegetables is to zap seeds with radiation in order to mutate their DNA, plant them, and see what comes out. I have not heard one peep out of anti-GMO activists about this method of random genetic recombination, even though it’s this latter method, if anything, that could cause unexpected consequences for human health. That fact, more than anything else, tells me that anti-GMO activists are driven by ignorance of science and irrational fear of technology.

HT: Jacob Levy on Twitter

4 thoughts on “_Scientific American_ Supports GMO Foods

  1. Pingback: A GMO Bet | Pileus
  2. “Ninety percent of the scientists I talk to assume that new GM plants are safety-tested the same way new drugs are by the fda,” he says. “They absolutely aren’t, and they absolutely should be.”

    This quote really says it all. Drug testing, mostly funded by the manufacturers of the drugs, has created a few well publicized disasters, so people tend not to trust testing in general.

    I’ve also noticed that the people I know who are most committed to climate change alarmism because “the science is settled” are in the minority on the food science arguments and could be described as “deniers” in that context. Sometimes it’s funny.

  3. Coincidentially, I found this post in the back of my Inbox while watching a webinar series called GMO’s Revealed. Long story (like, 9 episodes of 2+ hours each) short, agrochemical companies have successfully gagged anyone who has discovered problems with GMO foods (like cancer rates doubling, and “rare” diseases suddenly becoming common–increasing in lockstep with introduction of GMO foods), seeded regulatory boards with their own people and people they’ve bought off, hidden information necessary for independent investigators to conduct tests, sued small farmers into bankruptcy after allowing their GMO crops to interbreed with non-GMO strains (Can you imagine someone letting their bull run loose and then suing cattle owners for IP theft when the calves started dropping? That’s EXACTLY what Monsanto did), and not bothered with ANY kind of long-term study to support their claim of safety. Not to mention these are the same companies that got in trouble decades earlier for undisclosed effects of pesticides.

    Based entirely on the companies’ behaviors, how can anyone NOT conclude they’ve got something dangerous to hide?

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