GLP Infographic: 10 reasons we need crop biotechnology

July 29, 2013 |
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The web has become a sewer channeling scare mongering about crop biotechnology. One of the most common techniques used by anti-biotech campaigners is the circulation of “Top 10” type lists, which purportedly unmask how the biotech industry and top scientists and regulators in the United States, European Union, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere are huddling in back rooms churning out lies about GM foods and plotting the destruction of the global food supply (and world health in general, for good measure). Now we have our own GLP infographic that presents the scientific facts so you can reach your own independent judgement — click anywhere on the preview image below to access a full-sized PDF with source links:

Biotechnology infographic

Click the preview above to access full-sized PDF with source links

The GLP put the search terms “myths about GM foods” in Google and came up with more than 1.6 million entries and thousands of articles with titles like: “Top 7 myths about GM foods and Monsanto,” “GM myths and truth report,” “13 myths about genetic engineering,” and a current favorite, “10 reasons why we don’t need GM foods.” The later, which can be downloaded from GM Watch to pass out at next Occupy Monsanto event can now be found on literally hundreds of sites. It’s a compilation of the most egregious (and easily debunked) claims by advocacy groups.

Some writers have done their best to address these science-less attacks, from National Public Radio’s Dan Charles to venerable bloggers such as agricultural researcher Cami Ryan. But like weeds or the stars of a whack-a-mole game, they keep popping back up. We at the GLP have come to think that anti-biotech campaigners who pass around such ‘hit lists’ do not respond well to reasoned discussion and complex logic. With that in mind, the GLP is launching a new project. Going forward, we will put out occasional infographics to represent what the science says on crop biotechnology.

Our first effort—10 Reasons We Need Crop Biotechnology and GM Foods—is included in our GLP Weekly Newsletter and is also available on the GLP website. It comes complete with source links to international foundations, research organizations, major science journals and top newspapers. Please feel free to download and circulate this GLP crop biotechnology infographic!

  • KK

    Western supermarkets are flooded with food from developing countries where hunger is a common place. Growing more won’t solve the crisis but a better distribution just might. For as long as we in the Western civilisation continue to pay high prices for their food, it will be always exported with only few benefiting, and locals will continue to starve. They have to start growing for themselves, not for us and for that they don’t need GM food.

    As for your other reasons, four out of ten are money driven and where money is the primary motivator, results tend to be quite poor. Just look at the USA with its intense farming, animals kept in unsavoury conditions fed growth hormones, pesticide ridden crops – all invented to increase margins. The nutritional value and quality does not rank high and food has turned to be harmful to health.

    Your references to support your top 10 reasons are just as unsatisfactory as those used to speak against GM food. Incomplete, vague and in many cases sourced from those who came up with this pro GM list of reasons in the first place. It is like asking a butcher whether eating meat is good for you – he is unlikely to be an objective source…

    • Camarelli

      Growing more means cheaper food, wich in the aftermath results in better distribution. That’s what happened with the Green Revolution, wich actually improved world nutrition and reduced hunger. It wasn’t a change in capitalism, it was a better technology that improved a better distribution. People tend to misunderstand this phenomena, or just mix everything to keep their agenda.

  • Dennis A

    #10: *complement (unless GMO crops and foods are genteel)

    • Bert

      Complement is the correct term. You are confusing it with “compliment”.

  • sickandtired

    All of this is because food is money and money is control and power. What was/is wrong with micro-agriculture systems?
    Has the ratio from the 1900′s expanded so much that we need to break,bend and twist nature into feeding us un-natural foods while wiping other food sources right off the planet?
    Why put so many of our eggs in one basket?
    This is a recipe for disaster and that disaster is unfolding by the minute…..
    Be safe, be healthy and grow your own as much as you can and teach others how to as well.
    If this gmo food is safe, than label it and let consumers choose.
    Be honest where it counts.
    In the consumers hand.

    • cam

      yeah this article has got it in deep with monsanto, all of these reasons are sooooo bogus and repetitive pfst 10 reasons, not to mention the lack of mention of the 500,000 farmers that have commited suicide in india due to GMO’s fucking up all their crops

      • http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/ Jon Entine

        Actually Cam, this has nothing at all to do with Monsanto. This very straightforward information that reflects the views of the mainstream agricultural community and mainstream scientists. As for your comment about India, your claim that any suicides are linked to GMOs is absolutely false, and has been rebuked many times by independent scholars who have reviewed the data. The rate of farmer suicides is unchanged from the late 1990s, when GMO cotton was introduced, until today. In 1008, the International Food Research Institute look into those claims (when they were first raised by activists, and concluded:
        “Despite the recent media hype around farmer suicides fuelled by civil society organisations and
        reaching the highest political spheres in India and elsewhere, there is no evidence in available data of a ‘resurgence’ of farmer suicide in India [linked to genetically modified crops].” A study in Nature magazine (top rated independent science journal) in 2012 by Gyathri Vaidyanathan looked at the economic impact of genetically modified cotton on the local economy and found that it dramatically increased farmers’ profits and has almost certainly resulted in a decrease in suicides (which have been prompted by a complex array of issues that predated the introduction of GMOs). It would be helpful if you did not spread such alarmist misinformation.

  • gluten

    Have seen a few list with nutrition comparisons so GM foods but don’t know how legitimate they are. I would like to see the GLP’s list. Most list show that GM have less nutrients and more gluten and claim that is why so many people are becoming gluten intolerant. Would really like to see some facts on this.

    • http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/ Jon Entine

      There is nothing about the process of genetic modification that would or could, in and of itself, raise or lower the nutrient or gluten. So theoretically, there is zero difference. That said, many of the newer GM foods in the pipeline, such as Golden Rice and GM cassava, are designed to be nutritionally enhanced so they will be far superior to non-GM varietals. Gluten would not be impacted one way or the other, as the genes that cause that are not modified. Hope this helps.