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The Anti-GMO Crisis

A recent article titled “Are you anti-GMO? Then you’re anti-science, too” by Michael Gerson appeared in a May 3 online post from the Washington Post. The author iterates interesting points about the aversion of consumers to GMO products, and how those aversions are misplaced. In fact, as the title of his article implies, those who disparage GMO’s are in fact disparaging science in general. I encourage you to read the full article.

Mr. Gerson starts out the article by providing a short list of food products that he will no longer buy because they state, in various terms, that they do not contain GMO’s. One item on his list is a dog food product, of all things. Thus, these labels are in effect saying that products with GMO-sourced ingredients are bad, and even not fit for your dog.

Mr. Gerson quotes a National Academy of Sciences analysis of about 1,000 studies that states “The committee concluded that no differences have been found that implicate a higher risk of human health safety from Genetically Engineered foods than from their non-GE counterparts”.

In my opinion, his most profound statement in the article is “There is more than a hint of cultural imperialism when Westerners–grown fat on the success of modern farming–lecture subsistence farmers on the benefits of heirloom breeds and organic methods. The greatest need among farmers who spend part of the year hungry is increased productivity”. In other words, the success of American agriculture has given the anti-GMO crowd a well-fed platform from which to preach their anti-science drivel to the hungry masses in those countries that are not so well fed. Those who purvey this unsupported and unscientific view of GMO foods are in effect promoting the continued malnourishment/undernourishment of those who are struggling to feed themselves and their compatriots.

There are several articles on this website that address the public’s aversion to all GMO-derived food products. Click herehereherehere, and here for those articles. An additional article addresses the issue of gene edited crops (GEC’s) vs. GMO’s. Click here for an article that highlights USDA policy regarding regulation of GEC’s.

The anti-GMO message is widely spread by those in this country who have no business voicing their anti-science and uneducated views about GMO foods and feedstuff. In fact, their reason for doing this baffles me because they are in reality depriving the hungriest people in the world of safe food that is so desperately needed to combat widespread hunger and malnutrition.

And the saddest thing about all of this is these anti-science purveyors won’t take the time or expend the energy to find out that in fact GMO crops and products derived from them are safe for both humans and pets. Or maybe they just don’t have the insight to understand that the science that resulted in GMO crops and their derived products is sound. It is likely that these same people buy bottled water because they believe that the safest, most regulated, most tested water supply in the world is in fact not safe enough for them to drink.

Composed by Larry G. Heatherly, May 2018,