If GMOs are safe, why are they so against labeling? People have a right to know what they're eating!
Thanks, Linda. I'm not going to answer for Monsanto, but I will answer for myself, as a host of this show, to speak to why we did it. First, the Pew Research Center polled a representative sample of scientists from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in January and found that 88% of them said there was "no justification for special labeling of genetically modified foods," and that such labels would, "mislead and falsely alarm consumers." The companies that were against having to change their labels were probably protecting themselves from convoluted variations by state, and the cost of all that would be involved in changing. But I could just be emotionally defensive because I love Spam. And bananas. Also pineapples.
so you will have a well versed expert to address concerns about what Monsanto is doing eg the other side of their Hawaii papaya success story ?
Michael, You'll find that Jon and I are doing these shows in large part to begin conversations. We've found over and over that the topics we dig into aren't ever as simple as they appear. If there's a qualified person who wants to give us the other side of the Papaya story, Jon and I would absolutely extend an invitation to be on the show. What I found fascinating about Monsanto, is they use traditional farming methods as their primary answer to problems. Problems that farmers bring to them. They've got 4000 scientists looking to improve the condition of farmers. Are they perfect...absolutely not, no corporation is...but are they talking? Yes...now let's find that Papaya expert...
“In 2012 the board of the AAAS, headed by GMO promoter Nina Fedoroff, issued a statement claiming GM was “safe” and opposing the labeling of GM foods, which it said “can only serve to mislead and falsely alarm consumers. However, the board’s statement was promptly condemned by 21 scientists, including many members of the AAAS, as “an Orwellian argument that violates the right of consumers to make informed decisions”. The scientists warned in particular that the herbicides with which GMOs are grown “may induce detrimental health effects even at low exposure levels.” (“Who says GMOs are safe? (and who says they’re not),” by Claire Robinson, Beyond GM. December 8, 2014).
The argument against labeling goes like this: "GMO foods are safe, the anti-GMO activists are anti-science." This is utter nonsense.
From the Council for Responsible Genetics [a group of scientists]:
Q. Do consumers have a right to know that their food has been genetically engineered?
A. Yes. In light of the uncertainty regarding the safety and environmental impact of genetically engineered foods, many consumers want to take a precautionary approach. Governments should require mandatory labeling of foods produced by or containing genetically engineered organisms (GMOs). The labels should specify the source of the foreign genes. In addition, the US already allows "process" labels on other products. Kosher foods, for example, are equivalent in nutritional value and taste to non-Kosher foods. The Kosher label refers to the process by which livestock is slaughtered or foods are prepared. Similarly, "dolphin-safe" tuna is equivalent in nutritional value and taste to other types of tuna. The "dolphin-safe" process label indicates that special nets have been used that do not entrap dolphins."
And so on. You really want to pull the "safe" trick, along with the "anti-science" nonsense? These scientists say: “GMOS ARE INHERENTLY UNSAFE -There are several reasons why GM plants present unique dangers. The first is that the process of genetic engineering itself creates unpredicted alterations, irrespective of which gene is transferred. This creates mutations in and around the insertion site and elsewhere. The biotech industry confidently asserted that gene transfer from GM foods was not possible; the only human feeding study on GM foods later proved that it does take place. The genetic material in soybeans that make them herbicide tolerant transferred into the DNA of human gut bacteria and continued to function. That means that long after we stop eating a GM crop, its foreign GM proteins may be produced inside our intestines.” Charu Verma, Surabhi Nanda, R.K. Singh, R.B. Singh, Sanjay Mishra “A Review on Impacts of Genetically Modified Food on Human Health.”
I could fill pages and pages with comments like that, from scientists. This is about profits, not science. Monsanto and company stand to lose profits if this legislation doesn't pass.
"This is America. In this capitalist society we have a right to know what we’re buying in grocery stores to feed our families. And in this democracy we have a right to vote for or against a technology with our pocketbooks. These products are labeled in some 60 other countries; they should be labeled in the United States as well.” --- Dr. Belinda Martineau Ph.D., retired genetics engineer who helped develop the first FDA GMO approved food and holds patents in that field.
There's your science - and the nonsense of the safety issue is moot. Let's see if you publish this.
Thanks for your comment, Jeff. You already published it, and I appreciate you bringing it up.
Did you guys record this on cell phones in your respective bathrooms? I'm really interested in the subject matter but PLEASE invest in a cheap mixer. I tried listening while doing yardwork and it was horrible. This is what even cheap gear sounds like.
Matt, you're absolutely right. I was on a cell phone in Piedmont CA, Ty was on his office phone in St. Louis, and Pete recorded it all on a Skype connection in Sacramento. We've used this method on several of our previous episodes with better success, but had some fidelity issues on this day. I appreciate your comment, and I hope we can get Ty, or whomever cares to further the conversation, from within the same room.