Shedding Light in the Darkness

GMO Crops Safe Say Bunch of Scientists

Keep-Calm-and-Dont-be-Afraid-of-GMOs-MonsantoA bunch of scientists have signed a new petition in support of GMO technology. They write: “Genetic modification is a long-standing method used by breeders and plant scientists to improve agricultural products. Nevertheless, a growing number of companies are moving towards excluding GMOs in their products. That some restaurants and retailers would leverage a minority opinion against GM products, in the face of overwhelming credible scientific evidence that indicates their safety, is irresponsible.”

They are particularly upset by Chipotle – “Chipotle, specifically, has taken a hard stance against GMOs citing a petition of greater than 300 scientists that states no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs. There is a clear scientific consensus regarding the safety and efficacy of GM technology. The ability of only 300 scientists to foster unwarranted fears regarding technologies that actually benefit sustainable agriculture is distressing.”

“To meet our current and future food supply demands, without destroying our planet, we need every efficacious tool available,” they write.

The petitioners’ goal is to demonstrate to the public that there is consensus within their scientific community about the safety and efficacy of using genetic modification technology in agriculture – which of course is not true. There isn’t a consensus.

And they dish out more disinformation – Carnegie President Matthew Scott said, “GM crops, deployed appropriately in light of scientific knowledge and societal and environmental imperatives, can improve food and health substantially without detriment to the environment. In fact there is considerable potential for preserving the environment through use of GMOs to reduce excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers.”

But there is evidence that more toxic pesticides are needed, not less.

Besides this petition the bashing of Chipotle includes a New York Magazine article in January with the headline “Chipotle’s Ant-GMO stance didn’t keep its customers safe.” It noted: “All else being equal there are no valid reasons to consider foods without GMOs to be healthier or more environmentally friendly than those containing them. The company’s decision to focus on GMOs looks even more wrongheaded.”

The article’s author published another attack piece last year – “Chipotle Is Promoting Opportunistic Anti-Science Hysteria.” On Twitter he’s posted “I make a point of not buying foods that say non-GMO on the packaging.”

Last fall Counterpunch ran a story on GMO propaganda, noting how, “the website Gawker revealed documents that demonstrated the lengths to which the global chemical giant Monsanto would go in order to control the narrative about their products – in particular, their genetically modified crops. At a minimum, Monsanto enlisted Condé Nast publications, and appealed NGOs in need of donations, to help produce a celebrity-driven video series in support of GMOs.”

“Recent disclosed documents have also exposed numerous scientific experts enlisted in Monsanto’s messaging. But what is most pernicious is that a whole new rhetorical talking point has come to the forefront, which threatens anyone – particularly scientists – who speak out against their “tent pole” technology: If you are anti-GMOs you are anti-science.”

They also point out: “Most GMOs are not tested for safety. Not only does federal policy unscientifically delegate GMO crops as “substantially equivalent” to conventional crops, independent research on environmental effects and health effects (via animal feeding studies) is hampered by industry in a large part due to patents preventing the study and use of GM seeds and crops. Feeding studies that have occurred, most of which have been funded by industry, have been mired with problems such as contaminated feed and methodological corruption that render their results invalid.”


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