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17 Simple Truths That Make Anti-GMO Alarmists Squirm

Posted by Jerry De Luca on Friday, March 25, 2016


1) Just a partial listing of the major organizations that approve of GMO’s:

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences

The American Association for the Advancement of Science

The American Medical Association

Health Canada

The Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee

The Royal Society of Medicine (UK)

The World Health Organization

2) Conspiracy 

The claims that all GMO research is funded by big companies like Monsanto are completely false:

“Over the past decade, hundreds of independent researchers have published peer-reviewed safety studies. At least a dozen medical and scientific groups worldwide, including the World Health Organization and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, have stated that the GMOs currently approved for market are safe.”  http://www.popsci.com/article/science/core-truths-10-common-gmo-claims-debunked

DR. Joe Schwarcz, Director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, offers further clarity:

“First of all, let’s understand that just because something may be good for Monsanto, Novartis, AstraZeneca or any other company involved in biotechnology, it isn’t necessarily bad for the public.  But if you listen to some alarmists, you can get the impression that these companies are trying to foist poisons on us purely for the sake of profit.  Of course, there is a buck to be made.  But profits come with the production of good and useful products.  No company wants to undermine its existence by marketing dangerous substances.  A great deal of research has gone into genetic modification and its safety aspects.  Many of the potential problems that are now being vocalized by opponents were in fact addressed long ago by the industry.  The testing for allergens in modified foods has been going on since the inception of the technology.”  https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-you-asked/do-gmo-foods-cause-any-health-related-risks

3) Discredited Studies:  

“One frequently cited study, published in 2012 by researchers from the University of Caen in France, claimed that one of Monsanto's corn GMOs caused tumors in lab rats. But the study was widely discredited because of faulty test methods, and the journal retracted it in 2013. More recently, researchers from the University of Perugia in Italy published a review of 1,783 GMO safety tests; 770 examined the health impact on humans or animals. They found no evidence that the foods are dangerous.” http://www.popsci.com/article/science/core-truths-10-common-gmo-claims-debunked

4 Simplicity:  

When asked, most people who are anti-GMO admit they do not understand the process, and just believe the alarmists. An example of the simplicity:

“To make Arctic apples, biologists took genes from Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties, modified them to suppress the enzyme that causes browning, and reinserted them in the leaf tissue. It's a lot more accurate than traditional methods, which involve breeders hand-pollinating blossoms in hopes of producing fruit with the desired trait.” http://www.popsci.com/article/science/core-truths-10-common-gmo-claims-debunked

5) Two billion acres and no adverse effects:

No known deleterious health or ecological effects have emanated from the commercialization of genetically modified crops: ‘There is broad scientific consensus that genetically engineered crops currently on the market are safe to eat. After 14 years of cultivation and a cumulative total of 2 billion acres planted, no adverse health or environmental effects have resulted from commercialization of genetically engineered crops.' Millions of people have been eating gmfs, progressing and thriving in health for decades. Genetically engineered foods contribute enormously to the food supply and have stabilized markets while providing ample nutrition for all.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3615871/

6)  Study of orchard grown apple trees over a 12 year period:

“Overall, these results suggest that transgene expression in perennial species, such as fruit trees, remains stable in time and space, over extended periods and in different organs. This report shows that it is possible to improve a desirable trait in apple, such as the resistance to a pathogen, through genetic engineering, without adverse alteration of fruit characteristics and tree shape.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2910661/

7) Peer Reviewed Publications on the Safety of GM Foods:

“There are at least 42 publications extractable from the PubMed database that describe research reports of feeding studies of GM feed or food products derived from GM crops. The overwhelming majority of publications report that GM feed and food produced no significant differences in the test animals. The two studies reporting negative results were published in 1998 and 1999 and no confirmation of these effects have since been published. Many studies have been published since 2002 and all have reported no negative impact of feeding GM feed to the test species.” http://www.agbioworld.org/biotech-info/articles/biotech-art/peer-reviewed-pubs.html

8) Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials:

The aim of this systematic review was to collect data concerning the effects of diets containing GM maize, potato, soybean, rice, or triticale on animal health. We examined 12 long-term studies (of more than 90 days, up to 2 years in duration) and 12 multigenerational studies (from 2 to 5 generations). We referenced the 90-day studies on GM feed for which long-term or multigenerational study data were available. Many parameters have been examined using biochemical analyses, histological examination of specific organs, hematology and the detection of transgenic DNA. The statistical findings and methods have been considered from each study. Results from all the 24 studies do not suggest any health hazards and, in general, there were no statistically significant differences within parameters observed …. The studies reviewed present evidence to show that GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed.”  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691511006399

9)  An overview of the last 10 years of genetically engineered crop safety research:

The technology to produce genetically engineered (GE) plants is celebrating its 30th anniversary and one of the major achievements has been the development of GE crops. The safety of GE crops is crucial for their adoption and has been the object of intense research work often ignored in the public debate. We have reviewed the scientific literature on GE crop safety during the last 10 years, built a classified and manageable list of scientific papers, and analyzed the distribution and composition of the published literature.

“We selected original research papers, reviews, relevant opinions and reports addressing all the major issues that emerged in the debate on GE crops, trying to catch the scientific consensus that has matured since GE plants became widely cultivated worldwide. The scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of GE crops; however, the debate is still intense. An improvement in the efficacy of scientific communication could have a significant impact on the future of agricultural GE. Our collection of scientific records is available to researchers, communicators and teachers at all levels to help create an informed, balanced public perception on the important issue of GE use in agriculture.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24041244

10)  Undeniable GMO Benefits:

Peer-reviewed studies of the genetically engineered crops currently on the market indicate that such crops have contributed to enhancing global agricultural sustainability. As reviewed here, benefits include

--massive reductions in insecticides in the environment

--improved soil quality and reduced erosion

--prevention of the destruction of the Hawaiian papaya industry

--enhanced health benefits to farmers and families as a result of reduced exposure to harsh chemicals

--economic benefits to local communities

--enhanced biodiversity of beneficial insects

--reduction in the number of pest outbreaks on neighboring farms growing non-genetically engineered crops

--Genetically engineered crops have also dramatically increased crop yields—30% in some farming communities

-- As has been well-documented for Bt cotton in Arizona, the ability to combine innovations in farming practice with the planting of genetically engineered seed has had a huge positive benefit/cost ratio, far beyond what could be achieved by innovating farming practices or planting genetically engineered crops alone. The benefit/cost ratio of Bt crops is the highest for any agricultural innovation in the past 100 years.”  http://www.genetics.org/content/188/1/11.long

11)  Prevention of deaths from Vitamin A deficiency:

Vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem in 100 countries, especially in Africa and Southeast Asia, affecting young children and pregnant women the most. Worldwide, 124 million children are estimated to be vitamin A-deficient. Many of these children go blind or become ill from diarrhea, and nearly 8 million preschool-age children die each year as the result of this deficiency. Researchers estimate that 6000 children and young mothers die every day from vitamin A deficiency-related problems. The World Health Organization estimates that improved vitamin A nutritional status could prevent the deaths of 1.3–2.5 million late-infancy and preschool-age children each year.” http://www.genetics.org/content/188/1/11.long

12) The looming human catastrophe:

“In the developing world, 840 million people are chronically undernourished, surviving on fewer than 8000 kJ/day (2000 Kcal/day). Approximately 1.3 billion people are living on less than US$1/day and do not have secure access to food. Many of these are also rural farmers in developing countries, depending entirely on small-scale agriculture for their own subsistence and to make their living. They generally cannot afford to irrigate their crops or purchase herbicides or pesticides, leading to a vicious circle of poor crop growth, falling yields and pest susceptibility. In addition, the world's population is predicted to double over the next 40 years, with over 95% of individuals being born in developing countries.

“It is estimated that to meet these increased demands, food production must increase by at least 40% in the face of decreasing fertile lands and water resources. GM plant technologies are one of a number of different approaches that are being developed to combat these problems. Specifically, studies are under way to genetically modify plants to increase crop yields, or to directly improve nutritional content.

“Currently, over three million people die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases, the vast majority in the developing world. The current model of profit-motivated pharmaceutical production by companies in the developed world is ineffective in ridding the developing world of disease. GM plant technology may provide an alternative, as it is relatively low-tech and can be applied locally in the developing world by scientists working in partnership with governments and not-for-profit research funding agencies.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2408621/

13) The Safety of Genetically Modified Foods Produced through Biotechnology:

The available scientific evidence indicates that the potential adverse health effects arising from biotechnology-derived foods are not different in nature from those created by conventional breeding practices for plant, animal, or microbial enhancement, and are already familiar to toxicologists. It is therefore important to recognize that the food product itself, rather than the process through which it is made, should be the focus of attention in assessing safety.

Studies of this type have established that the level of safety to consumers of current genetically engineered foods is likely to be equivalent to that of traditional foods. At present, no verifiable evidence of adverse health effects of BD foods has been reported, although the current passive reporting system probably would not detect minor or rare adverse effects or a moderate increase in effects with a high background incidence such as diarrhea.http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/71/1/2.full

14) With 2000+ global studies affirming safety, GM foods among most analyzed subjects in science:

Every major international science body in the world has reviewed multiple independent studies—in some cases numbering in the hundreds—in coming to the consensus conclusion that GMO crops are as safe or safer than conventional or organic foods, but the magnitude of the research has never been evaluated or documented.

Still the claim that GMOs are ‘understudied’—the meme represented in the quotes highlighted at the beginning of this article—has become a staple of anti-GMO critics, especially activist journalists. In response to what they believed was an information gap, a team of Italian scientists cataloged and analyzed 1783 studies about the safety and environmental impacts of GMO foods—a staggering number.

The researchers couldn’t find a single credible example demonstrating that GM foods pose any harm to humans or animals. The scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of genetically engineered crops, the scientists concluded.”  https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/10/08/with-2000-global-studies-confirming-safety-gm-foods-among-most-analyzed-subject-in-science/

15)  Fatal attraction: the intuitive appeal of GMO opposition:

----People tend to rely on intuitive reasoning to make a judgment on GMOs.

----This intuitive reasoning includes folk biology, teleological and intentional intuitions and disgust.

----Anti-GMO activists have exploited intuitions successfully to promote their cause.

----Intuitive judgments steer people away from sustainable solutions.

Public opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) remains strong. By contrast, studies demonstrate again and again that GM crops make a valuable contribution to the development of a sustainable type of agriculture. The discrepancy between public opinion and the scientific evidence requires an explanation. We argue that intuitive expectations about the world render the human mind vulnerable to particular misrepresentations of GMOs. We explain how the involvement of particular intuitions accounts for the popularity, persistence, and typical features of GM opposition and tackle possible objections to our approach. To conclude, we discuss the implications for science education, science communication, and the environmental movement.”  http://www.cell.com/trends/plant-science/fulltext/S1360-1385%2815%2900077-1

16)  Neil deGrasse Tyson on GMO food!

17)  Statement by the World Health Organization:

“GM foods currently available on the international market have passed safety assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.”    http://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modified-food/en/

Related Posts:

Unassailable: Concisely Eloquent Overview Exposing GMO Hysteria http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2017/07/unassailable-concisely-eloquent.html

30 Prying and Probing Questions To Bolster Critical Thinking http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2016/10/30-prying-and-probing-questions-to.html

Photo: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/blue-strawberry-tim-booth.html   CC

Jerry De Luca is a Christian freelance writer who loves perusing dozens of interesting and informative publications. When he finds any useful info he summarizes it, taking the main points, and creates a (hopefully) helpful blog post.


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