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HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

Criticism Emerges about the Benefits of the Anti-GMO Campaign

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For the past few years, the case against GMOs has grown and companies like Monsanto have entered the spotlight as activists call for labeling of genetically modified foods.

William Saletan of the online magazine Slate has spent much of the past year investigating claims that genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are bad for us. His findings? While Saletan admits the issue is indeed complicated, he has discovered that there is as much misinformation on the side of those calling for GMO labeling as there is by corporations like Monsanto. “The deeper you dig,” writes Saletan, “the more fraud you find in the case against GMOs. It’s full of errors, fallacies, misconceptions, misrepresentations, and lies.”

Saletan goes on to clarify much of the confusion about the debate: “There are valid concerns about some aspects of GE agriculture, such as herbicides, monocultures, and patents. But none of these concerns is fundamentally about genetic engineering. Genetic engineering isn’t a thing. It’s a process that can be used in different ways to create different things.” And he argues that organics are not inherently safer.

The bottom line? Genetic modification, say Saletan, can be extremely beneficial. He lists some examples, including “high-calcium carrots, antioxidant tomatoes, nonallergenic nuts, bacteria-resistant oranges, water-conserving wheat, corn and cassava loaded with extra nutrients, and a flaxlike plant that produces the healthy oil formerly available only in fish.”

The author laments that we could move forward with these ideas, but instead we’ve been stuck in a debate about GMOs that he defines as “stupid” and “wasteful.”

You can read Saletan’s full article here.