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GMO attracts negativity in absence of substance

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So, why do folks continue to deny the value of GMO to society? Negative sells better than positive. Scaring people attracts more attention than assuring them that their food supply is the safest it’s ever been.

As I was getting to the end of my overnight email accumulation this morning my wife called me from the den, where she was watching the late edition of The Today Show—part of her morning ritual.

“Do you want to watch a segment on GMOs?” she asked.

“Yes,” I responded as I made my way to the kitchen to freshen up my fourth cup of coffee. Does coffee contain GMOs? Don’t know. Also, don’t care.

She quickly put the television in reverse, backed up to where the segment began and we watched as the Today hosts—Willie Geist and Natalie Morales, I think (Today is not part of my morning ritual.) discussed with nutrition expert Madelyn Fernstrom how savvy consumers can avoid buying products containing GMO material.

Basically, skeptical consumers, those who fear that eating or wearing GMO products will somehow alter their DNA, turn them green, make them glow in the dark or cause some vile illness to befall them and their future generations, should look for labels declaring: “GMO free,” “Non-GMO,” “Certified non-GMO,” and several other precautions enquiring minds should look for.

The “expert” mentioned, several times, that no one is required to list GMO products on food labels but that some companies are doing so voluntarily, and some are offering alternatives—General Mills, for instance.

I’ve read and watched and heard television personalities—Dr. Oz comes to mind—rail about how to avoid GMO products. It comes as an add-on for many TV cooking experts touting organic foods as the healthy choice for better living.

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What I don’t hear and what was glaringly absent from this morning’s GMO segment is any mention of what damage GMO has been proven to do to folks who eat—or wear—genetically modified plants.  I don’t hear that from folks who promote all-organic, either, by the way.

And there is good reason why they don’t mention the research data that support their contention that GMO is a health risk. That research does not exist. Folks have been eating and wearing GMO products for many years now and not one shred of evidence exists that anyone has suffered any ill effects from them.

Evidence does show, however, that productivity has increased, allowing farmers to feed and clothe more people, using less land, less water and less labor.

So, why do folks continue to deny the value of GMO to society? Negative sells better than positive. Scaring people attracts more attention than assuring them that their food supply is the safest it’s ever been.

An old newspaper adage seems to apply: “If it bleeds, it leads.” Maybe the modern version is: “If it scares, it airs.” And let the facts be damned.

 

Also of interest:

Misinformation abounds regarding GMOs

The man that saved a billion lives: Norman Borlaug and GMOs

Organic food inspections lacking, former inspector says

Discuss this Blog Entry 3

on Jan 15, 2014

There's a growing body of research pointing to serious health problems related to GMO crops and the extensive use of Roundup on Roundup Ready crops...in both livestock and humans. Also, plenty of recent of research has demonstrated that non-GMO crops now producing higher yields than GMO crops. Here's just one summary:

http://www.earthopensource.org/index.php/executive-summary

A growing number of American consumers who shop for food (mostly women) now know that GMO crop safety has not been independently established in the U.S. and also that the same products with GMOs found in U.S supermarkets are sold in Europe without GMOs. As a result, American shoppers are exercising the "precautionary principle" utilized in Europe and increasingly choosing non-GMO foods. As a result, annual sales of foods labeled as "organic" or "Non-GMO Verified" are now growing at 13-14%. At this rate, by 2017 30% of all the food purchased by Americans will be non-GMO, and that's without mandatory GMO labeling. Smart food manufacturers like Post Cereals and many others are quietly sourcing non-GMO ingredients and reformulating their products. In response to growing demand for organic and non-GMO crops, savvy farmers are changing what they plant. Demand for non-GMO seed has been so strong that several new non-GMO seed companies have popped up in the past two years. Ultimately consumer choices will determine the viability of GMO food crops...nothing sinister or deceptive, just market forces at work...

on Jan 16, 2014

As is usual, this article is as generalized and full of "reports" from compromised Federal Alphabet Agencies, none of which ANYONE with a mustard seeds worth of skepticism would take seriously.

But worse yet, it simply responds to a "I heard" level of direct data about said generalizations.

The Health debate is just that. The only people pooh-poohing the studies that suggest risks are folks who already have a GM "dog in the fight". Name an arm of Government or the Judiciary, and I'll name a former Monsanto employee in a position of oversight.

Here's just the tip of another iceberg, the proliferation of chemicals from an official Canadian Government Source:

"The GM SmartStax corn produces six different insecticidal toxins and is tolerant to two herbicides. It was allowed onto the market in Canada without a safety evaluation from Health Canada.

Tell the Minister of Health its unacceptable that Health Canada did not assess the safety of 'SmartStax' before it was approved.

Background: Health Canada did not assess the safety of “SmartStax” GM corn. Health Canada does not classify “SmartStax” as a “Novel Food” because it has previously approved the eight single GM traits in “SmartStax”, individually in earlier crops. Health Canada says that combining eight GM traits together does not create any new risks and does not need any safety evaluation. Health Canada did not even bother to rubber-stamp “SmartStax” – it was approved for release by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, without Health Canada.

Summary: On July 15, 2009 Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences announced that they received approval to introduce their new eight-trait GM corn 'SmartStax' in Canada and the US. But Health Canada did not assess 'SmartStax' for human health safety and did not even bother to authorize it. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency authorized the environmental release of 'SmartStax' but never conducted an environmental risk assessment and actually substantially weakened its environmental stewardship rules for the crop. Because the eight traits were previously approved in separate crops, Canadian regulators do not see anything new in combining the eight together - despite the fact that the Codex international food safety guidelines that Canada helped to negotiate clearly state that stacked traits can lead to unintended effects and should be subject to a full safety assessment."

...and that's just ONE of a number of issues not specifically addressed by this Biotech Love-Fest. These companies have done very little to change up the Technology for nearly 40 years, while the cutting edge of Biotech now creates synthetic life, new entire protein chains, and can affect, see, and fine tune cellular expression on a quantum level.

Inserting traits? Meh...it's SO 20th Century.

on Feb 12, 2014

I think it would be fair to mention in stories of this nature the obvious bias created by the huge amount of advertising revenue that you would lose should you speak fairly about the biotech industry. Is it out of the kindness of their hearts, champions of the public interest, that inspired Monsanto et al. to spend millions fighting the labeling of GMO products? And of course you never mentioned how these genetically modified seeds are being used to give a handful of corporations total control of the seed industry.
Play fair Mr. Smith. Any time you want to put together a fair and open debate of the issue, please let me know and I'll take the time to find you all the reliable information and speakers that you need.

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