El debat és sobre: Genetically modified crops are safe.
That’s the most important takeaway point from the massive study released last week by the National Academy of Sciences, one of the most respected research agencies in the world. A team of 20 scholars—drawn mainly from universities and think tanks, and none from seed companies—spent two years examining more than 900 studies. Its comprehensive report comes in at nearly 400 pàgines.
This is quite an endorsement from our best and brightest. It also affirms what other groups have said in recent years, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, l'Associació Mèdica americana, the European Commission, l'u. Food and Drug Administration, the National Research Council, the World Health Organization and more.
They all agree that GM food is safe. They speak with one voice.
What we have is the very definition of a scientific consensus.
It’s absolutely okay to ask questions about GM food—but it’s not okay to pretend that we don’t have answers about fundamental issues, or to suggest that scientists are dueling over data or tussling over theories.
They’re not. They’re saying that GMOs are safe, just like the earth is round.
The science may be settled, but the politics surely isn’t. Should GM food carry special labels? That’s the hot topic right now. My home state of Vermont is about to implement a law that will require some food with GM ingredients to carry special labels. A Washington, DC the U.S. House has approved a bill that would overturn this decision, blocking states from passing a mishmash of confusing and contradictory labeling regulations. The Senate continues to deliberate.
Here’s what the NAS report says about labels: “The committee does not believe that mandatory labeling of foods with [GM] content is justified to protect public health.”
The lawmakers ought to listen to these wise words.
The report should also help answer U.S. District Court Judge Christina Reiss, que, in ruling against a preliminary order to halt Vermont’s GMO-labeling law, said that concerns embedded in the law were within the state’s purview. “The safety of food products, the protection of the environment, and the accommodation of religious beliefs and practices are all quintessential governmental interests.
Let me state my interest here. My family raises dairy cows and we grow some of the food we use to feed them. We don’t plant GM crops on our acreage, but I believe that my fellow farmers ought to enjoy access to this positive technology.
The NAS report calls attention to all of the benefits, beyond the simple fact that GM foods are safe to eat: They allow farmers to boost their bottom lines, help them save time, and also protect the environment, such as by enabling more insect biodiversity. “The committee found no evidence of cause-and-effect relationships between [GM] crops and environmental problems,"diu l'informe.
GM crops also keep food affordable for consumers. In a recent report on NPR, Dan Charles pointed out that many candy companies are replacing GM sugar beets with sugar cane. El resultat? Hershey’s Kisses are going up in price. The rejection of GM sugar beets, reports Charles, “means that buyers are paying 10 a 15 percent more” for the sugar in their candy.
So people are paying a premium for the sake of avoiding a food-production technique that just earned a big thumbs-up from the NAS.
That doesn’t make much sense.
Neither do mandatory labels, even though they represent a top reason why companies such as Hershey’s are turning away from biotechnology: They figure it’s easier to abandon GM ingredients entirely, as opposed to replacing infrastructure to comply with the directives of Vermont and possibly other states.
Yogurt lovers are about to fork over more, massa. Mes passat, Dannon, iogurt fabricant principal del país, va anunciar plans per a l'alimentació de les vaques seus pagesos que no OGM en tres anys.
Com un productor de llet, Se m'acut per saber una mica sobre el preu del pinso de vaca. Ara mateix, costos de gra no OGM sobre 30 per cent més.
També sóc mare. Cuidar que els meus fills menjar i tractar de mantenir un pressupost familiar. Vaig veure el valor en una tecnologia que permet als agricultors a reduir la seva dependència a herbicides i pesticides. També es pregunten per què algú ha de pagar extra per aliments assegurances que no reparteixen beneficis nous i en molts casos, goes backwards.
We should quit debating GMOs, and start thinking about how to make the most of this remarkable technology.