With 2000+ global studies affirming safety, GM foods among most analyzed subjects in science

| October 8, 2013 |
via Real Clear Science, Shutterstock via Real Clear Science, Shutterstock

“The science just hasn’t been done.”

Charles Benbrook, organic researcher, Washington State University.

“There is no credible evidence that GMO foods are safe to eat.”

David Schubert, Salk Institute of Biological Studies

“[The] research [on GMOs] is scant…. Whether they’re killing us slowly— contributing to long-term, chronic maladies—remains anyone’s guess.”

Tom Philpott, Mother Jones

“Genetically modified (GM) foods should be a concern for those who suffer from food allergies because they are not tested….”

Organic Consumers Association

A popular weapon used by those critical of agricultural biotechnology is to claim that there has been little to no evaluation of the safety of GM crops and there is no scientific consensus on this issue.

Those claims are simply not true. Every major international science body in the world has reviewed multiple independent studies—in some cases numbering in the hundreds—in coming to the consensus conclusion that GMO crops are as safe or safer than conventional or organic foods, but the magnitude of the research has never been evaluated or documented.

Still the claim that GMOs are ‘understudied’—the meme represented in the quotes highlighted at the beginning of this article—has become a staple of anti-GMO critics, especially activist journalists. In response to what they believed was an information gap, a team of Italian scientists cataloged and analyzed 1783 studies about the safety and environmental impacts of GMO foods—a staggering number.

The researchers couldn’t find a single credible example demonstrating that GM foods pose any harm to humans or animals. “The scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of genetically engineered crops,” the scientists concluded.

The research review, published in Critical Reviews in Biotechnology in September, spanned only the last decade—from 2002 to 2012—which represents only about a third of the lifetime of GM technology.

“Our goal was to create a single document where interested people of all levels of expertise can get an overview on what has been done by scientists regarding GE crop safety,” lead researcher Alessandro Nicolia, applied biologist at the University of Perugia, told Real Clear Science. “We tried to give a balanced view informing about what has been debated, the conclusions reached so far, and emerging issues.”

The conclusions are also striking because European governments, Italy in particular, have not been as embracing of genetically modified crops as has North and South America, although the consensus of European scientists has been generally positive.

The Italian review not only compiled independent research on GMOs over the last ten years but also summarizes findings in the different categories of GM research: general literature, environmental impact, safety of consumption and traceability.

The “general literature” category of studies largely reveals the differences between the US, EU and other countries when it comes to regulating GM crops. Due to lack of uniform regulatory practices and the rise of non-scientific rhetoric, Nicolia and his colleagues report, concern about GMOs has been greatly exaggerated.

Environmental impact studies are predominant in the body of GM research, making up 68% of the 1,783 studies. These studies investigated environmental impact on the crop-level, farm-level and landscape-level. Nicolia and his team found “little to no evidence” that GM crops have a negative environmental impact on their surroundings.

One of the fastest growing areas of research is in gene flow, the potential for genes from GM crops to be found—“contaminate” in the parlance of activists—in non-GM crops in neighboring fields. Nicolia and his colleagues report that this has been observed, and scientists have been studying ways to reduce this risk with different strategies such as isolation distances and post-harvest practices. The review notes that gene flow is not unique to GM technology and is commonly seen in wild plants and non-GM crops. While gene flow could certainly benefit from more research, Nicolia and his colleagues suggest, the public’s aversion to field trials discourages many scientists, especially in the EU.

In the food and feeding category, the team found no evidence that approved GMOs introduce any unique allergens or toxins into the food supply. All GM crops are tested against a database of all known allergens before commercialization and any crop found containing new allergens is not approved or marketed.

The researchers also address the safety of transcribed RNA from transgenic DNA. Are scientists fiddling with the ‘natural order’ of life? In fact, humans consume between 0.1 and 1 gram of DNA per day, from both GM and non-GM ingredients. This DNA is generally degraded by food processing, and any surviving DNA is then subsequently degraded in the digestive system. No evidence was found that DNA absorbed through the GI tract could be integrated into human cells—a popular anti-GMO criticism.

These 1783 studies are expected to be merged into the public database known as GENERA (Genetic Engineering Risk Atlas) being built by Biofortified, an independent non-profit website. Officially launched in 2012, GENERA includes peer-reviewed journal articles from different aspects of GM research, including basic genetics, feeding studies, environmental impact and nutritional impact. GENERA has more than 650 studies listed so far, many of which also show up in the new database. When merged, there should be well over 2000 GMO related studies, a sizable percentage—as many as 1000—that have been independently executed by independent scientists.

In short, genetically modified foods are among the most extensively studied scientific subjects in history. This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of GM technology, and the paper’s conclusion is unequivocal: there is no credible evidence that GMOs pose any unique threat to the environment or the public’s health. The reason for the public’s distrust of GMOs lies in psychology, politics and false debates.

Additional Resources:

 

  • RobertWager

    But I read on the internet…

    • Andrew

      I would be nice to wage both sides properly. It’s not true that there hasn’t been proper research on toxicity of GMO food. This documentary names a lot of those:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUd9rRSLY4A

  • Jim Brauner

    What a crock of half truths and lies the GLP puts out. Here is much more evidence based information. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/06/dr-huber-gmo-foods.aspx

    • Loren Eaton

      ‘Dr. Don Huber is likely the leading GMO expert in the world.’ Which world would that be? “Dr.” Mercola is a new age quack. He wouldn’t know evidence if he tripped over it.

      • Brock Sherwood

        A simple google search results in articles of his peers at Perdue basically disputing everything he’s ever written.

        • Loren Eaton

          You mean like claiming to have found an entirely new ‘micro-fungus’ unlike anything ever seen? You beat me to it.
          Being a quack himself makes him ever so attractive to other quacks. (See Vandana Shiva, Jeffrey Smith, Mercola and so on).

    • Camarelli

      lol, citing the quack Mercola against real science!
      http://www.quackwatch.com/11Ind/mercola.html

    • leah

      How hysterical when someone says they are offering scientific evidence and then presents something from Mercola – Central Quack city.

    • http://perplexedorder.blogspot.com/ Brad Smith

      Linking to Mercola? Ha!

    • Stuart M.

      Again, you missed the “credible” caveat on which studies were included.

    • David Pete

      HAHA You just used evidence and Mercola in the same sentance

    • RealityCheck131

      Evidence based information from Quack Mercola? lol

  • Jim Brauner

    By the way, if this toxic food is so wonderful, why would the biotech industry spend endless millions trying to keep it from being put on a label? Your pants are on fire!

    • Loren Eaton

      I like your circular argument. To require labeling, the gov’t must have proof of a compostional/safety difference. If those differences existed, the FDA would require a label. That’s the LAW…and it has nothing to do with your yuck factor!! If this thing in Washington state passes, I would think it would end up in court.

      • Guest

        Labeling in the face of thousands of safety studies showing no harm is do something totally unscientific. So to prove they are using good science, you want them to go and partake in bad science?

        • Brett

          Labels have nothing to do with science. Labels are a consumer choice issue. Just because it is “scientifically acceptable” does not mean everyone wants to buy it, and they have a right to spend their money the way they want.

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

            Brett, you are correct. But we already have labels: it’s called “organic”, and anyone who wants to avoid foods from GMO crops can do so. The vast majority of processed foods in the US contain GMOs, so if you do not want GMOs, buy organic or processed foods that have a “non GMO label”. So there really is no “consumer choice” issue of note here any longer. People who make those choices will be doing so for political and ideological and religious reasons though–not because of safety or health or environmental reasons. But hey, it’s a free world. Many people “choose” not to believe in evolution or think that human induced climate change is a myth…again, not science–rather “consumer choice”.

          • First Officer

            So don’t buy anything without a label. You do not have the right to compel speech without reasonable cause. Curiosity is not a reasonable cause.

          • http://cory.albrecht.name/ Cory Albrecht

            Nobody is preventing food corporations from labelling their own products “non-GMO”. The topic here is whether it is a appropriate for the government to force labelling of GMOs when there’s no safety reason for doing so.

    • Ron Tavernier

      Gee. They are companies who make money for their stockholders. They are against something that will cost them millions of dollars and probably stigmatize their products with no good science behind it being dangerous. No idea why they would be against it. Seems like losing millions would be something they would want.

    • Janice Burke

      Jim, all the science leads to the same conclusion. There is no difference. GMOs are safe. In 8000 B.C, humans began choosing and altering plants and livestock. In 4000 B.C Egyptians began making wine and in 2000 B.C. Egyptians and Sumerians were brewing and cheese making.

      • ModerndayAppleseed

        Yep that is true but Monsanto seed are being changed drastically so they can sell more roundup.

      • Celeste Arnold

        If GMOs are considered the ‘same’ as it’s organic cousin then why was Monsanto able to patent it’s seed?? To get a patent on something it has to be proven as unique or original. The FDA chooses to not label GMOs because they are a ‘substantial equivalent.’
        Isn’t this a conundrum? Are GMOs the same or are they unique and different? Monsanto can’t have it both ways.

        • Jon Entine

          Celeste, you’re confusing all kinds of things here. Growers and seed companies have been patenting seeds for 80 years; GM seeds are less than 20 years along. We patent innovation. Seeds grown for organic use and conventional use and GM seeds can ALL be patented. The FDA conclusion of substantial equivalence has nothing to do with the patent issue. You are reading too many junk NGO sites. I suggest checking in with the US Department of Agriculture or a serious science organization such as the World Health Organisation, and continue to read the balanced stories on the GLP.

          • Celeste Arnold

            Thank you but I am not just reading junk sites, I did not read that on the internet. I know that the FDA conclusion is not because of the patent issue. It is because of passing 3 month tests done by Monsanto themselves saying that GMOs are safe.
            I happen to think my point is valid. if something is a new innovation then it can’t be seen as a ‘substantial equivalent’. The crop is different and this is a clear point to justify in the least labeling.

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

            Celeste, Not sure what you are reading but it’s not a legitimate science site. There is no such thing as a 3 month test done by Mosanto to show things are safe or not. Every GMO process takes years of testing and evaluation, 5-17 years in some cases. No approval was based on 3 months of any test. That’s just silly, and any site that posts that is pure junk science. Here is the FDA’s short explanation of the process: http://www.fda.gov/food/foodscienceresearch/biotechnology/ucm346030.htm. The far left environmental magazine Grist has an independent reporter named Nathanael Johnson who has addressed the myths that you are circulating and has a helpful explanation, if you’re open minded enough to read it: http://grist.org/food/the-gm-safety-dance-whats-rule-and-whats-real/ Morever, GMOs are approved in some 30 countries around the world, each of whom has its own unique set of guidelines, and many that required government supported testing. The conclusions are unanimous: GMOS are safe. Sorry to burst your bubble.

          • Celeste Arnold

            “the developer identifies the distinguishing attributes of new genetic traits and assesses whether any new material that a person consumed in food made from the genetically engineered plants could be toxic or allergenic.” – FDA’s explanation – the developer in this case is Monsanto. ‘The developer’ is doing it’s own tests to show that they are safe. FDA is not doing there own tests, they are only reviewing what is given to them by Monsanto.
            What about the 64 countries where gmos are banned or labeled? does that burst your bubble? ha ha you are so funny. I have read these articles that you speak of Entine, I read both sides, and while i’m reading I don’t sit there and ridicule the other side like you do, that’s an open mind. So, thank you for your opinion saying I’m not open minded but your persistence to see this as a black and white issue affirms my belief that you are not open to learning the dangers of GE crops.

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

            Celeste, Who is being black and white?
            I’m asking for peaceful co-existence so farmers have a variety of methods on hand to address global and local food challenges; you are crowing about political bans imposed in direct contradiction to findings by independent scientists at more than 100 agencies around the world–while not one independent international agency of note has raised serious health or environmental issues linked to GMOs. You consistently confuse politics of anti-GMO activists with consensus science. Your goal appears to be to demonize technologies that you yourself admit you have only a cursory knowledge of. Being open minded means seeking appropriate solutions based on challenges–thinking without ideological blinders. Genetic modification, along with judicious use of pesticides which are encouraged by organic and conventional farming, are a set of contributory tools to help address food and farming challenges. We need integrated pest and production management techniques. No one process has monopoly on that. No amount of independent empirical evidence–100+ agenicies and 2000+ studies–will be enough to ever convince you, because empirical evidence is not your currency.

          • Celeste Arnold

            Crowing about 64 nations who ban or label? while you crow about the 30 that allow it? In future arguments you should focus on your own argument instead of telling other people how they think or what my ‘currency’ is. We don’t need to go into more discussion because every argument you make is just saying that those tests say they are safe- even though those tests don’t address all of the issues but apparently you are not interested in that. Therefore no interest is had by you to consider other points of view-. That is fine, we obviously disagree but you don’t need to be so rude.

            I am asking for the food I eat to be labeled. We don’t label food for safety (if it’s unsafe it shouldn’t even be on the market) we label food to provide information to the public. That information is valid and more than 90% of Americans would like to see gmos labeled.

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

            I never once even mentioned how many countries approve of GMO crops, let alone tout it as meaningful of anything. We have had two votes on GMO labeling. The only empirical evidence we have is less than 50% of people who voted when this was not just a flip opinion to a poll support GMO labeling in in their states. (And if it had been approved, it would have been overturned as illegal, as it is under US law.)

  • Adam Herstein

    But… but… John Robbins says that GMOs are bad and Monsanto is evil…

  • Ron Tavernier

    Monsanto. There, I win.

  • Aurelian

    It’s important to separate the actions of Monsanto, a corporation which is structured for profit maximization and like all other multinationals represents certain problems. With regards to GMOs it is important to acknowledge the findings above which validate scientists efforts, yet not uncritically accept all of what Monsanto does. Scientific method employed to better food production benefits all humanity, I can’t say the same about Monsanto.

    • ZPT205

      It’s tempting to reply to the anti-GMO nutters by saying “we can support GMOs without supporting Monsanto,” but if you look into it, most of their anti-Monsanto claims are bunk too. There’s no evidence of abusive pricing (actual studies have debunked the “Monsanto has caused Indian farmers to commit suicide over bankruptcy” rumor and shown that, if anything, GMOs have reduced farmer suicides in India), nor has Monsanto been aggressively suing “innocent” farmers who just had seeds blow onto their lands, as the anti-GMO folk so often like to claim.

      • Buster Fykes
        • Travis Brown

          in 1997 his field was unintentionally contaminated by monsantos seeds, the next year he deliberately used those seeds to setup fields of canola with monsantos patented seed and thats why they sued, if he had just left it alone when it came in accidentally they probably wouldn’t have sued. Schmeiser isn’t exactly innocent.

        • Jeff

          Did you even read the link you posted? “The case drew worldwide attention and is widely misunderstood to concern
          what happens when farmers’ fields are accidentally contaminated with
          patented seed. However by the time the case went to trial, all claims
          had been dropped that related to patented seed in the field that was
          contaminated in 1997; the court only considered the GM canola in
          Schmeiser’s 1998 fields, which Schmeiser had intentionally concentrated
          and planted from his 1997 harvest. Regarding his 1998 crop, Schmeiser
          did not put forward any defense of accidental contamination.”

          • joe smith

            Schmeiser got his ass handed to him. His story made no sense. I feel bad for small farmers trying to make a living, but he was in the wrong,

        • StarLiner

          One where, You don’t use Extraneous grammar?????????

    • Ammyth

      I too used to say “The actions of one company in the GM industry is not justification for vilifying the entire technology.” But the more I read on Monsanto’s alleged crimes against nature and humanity, the more I realized that they’re all kinda bullshit.

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

        I agree with you. When asked to provide evidence of Monsanto’s “crimes against nature and humanity,” they just inject ideology/religious views into the discussion.

        • Ammyth

          You seem to have misread my comment. I was agreeing that most of the claims about Monsanto are just activist nonsense. After rereading my comment, I can see how it might be misinterpreted.

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

            Ammyth, you are right, I did misread it originally, then corrected it! If you refresh your screen you’ll see my edited response.

    • Daniel Hendrick

      Prejudice against farmers is at the heart of Monsanto ranting’s – nobody who hates Monsanto also has no love for farmers. They work long hours at low pay – their farms stink from manure which is carried by the wind. But the exact problem is the most anti – farming maestros will not do the farm work are seeking to regulate the workplace of those who will do the work and put them out of business in the name of progress. But then we’ll have no production at all – I’m sure the people who don’t work in the occupation know less than the people who do even though they’re more vocal. Every industry is at risk of being destroyed by dumb outsiders when you allow illegalization of the best – safest choice to be chosen by the producers of that product. It is protectionists trying to illegalize the better product.

  • Corrie

    Just label the god damn food so I can stay away from it. Your family can eat GMO because I do not give a crap what your family eats. I do care what we eat hence the request for labeling. Why is it so damn difficult to do?

    • Asura

      Here’s a way to make your life easier.
      If it doesn’t say “No GMOs!” on the front of the product, it has GMOs.

      You may now thank me.

      • Stuart M.

        Touché!!!!

    • ZPT205

      My family believes that food harvested from left-handed people is cursed (because an Italian quack with a few rats said so.) Just label the goddamn food so I can stay away from it. Your family can eat cursed left-handed food because I don’t care what your family eats.

  • Sharon

    Goodness, 1783 studies and you missed professor Judy Carman’s long term toxicology hog study at Flinders University in Australia and Professor Serelini’s 2 year rat study at the University of Caen? Someone is not doing their homework!

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

      Goodness, you apparently did not read the article and its research outline. Those studies were not in the time frame examined. The fact is there have been 2000+ studies. And not one study studied examined by the independent science community has demonstrated any unique safety concerns about GMO crops that is not also true of conventional or organic crops. Those two studies you mentioned are in the GENERA database, which is evolving as the go-to independent library for GMO studies.

      As for those two studies–you of course must know they have been soundly rejected by the independent science community because of their faulty methodologies. Anti-GMO crusaders love to trot them out, just as climate change deniers love to selectively present data, but poorly executed studies by well known activists with stated ideological objectives is not science–that’s politics. Science?: 2000+ studies, with as many as 1000+ plus by government and/or independent researchers showing what those with a basic understanding of genetics/biotechnology would tell you–precise genetic modification through genetic engineering is actually safer than conventional or organic alternatives.

      Get back to me when independent scientists–not avowed activists–have replicated their data. Hasn’t happened (no prior examples) and no doubt will never happen. Science policy should be driven by empirical data/weight of evidence…NOT by one-off studies by industry and not by one-off studies by activist scientists. Repeatability is science.

    • http://perplexedorder.blogspot.com/ Brad Smith

      The Judy Carman study was debunked and rejected by the scientific community because of questionable methodology, conflict of interest and shoddy statistics. The study in itself actually proved nothing.

    • Stuart M.

      Again, you obviously missed the “credible” caveat on which studies were included.

    • ZPT205

      If you favorably cite Serelini, you’re the one who failed to do their homework.

      • http://ultimateglutenfree.com/ Peter Olins, PhD

        Thanks, ZPT205. I also use a simple, very unscientific, rule-of-thumb, which is neatly captured by Skeptico:
        “The Seralini Rule. I have a new rule for debating anti-GMO people:
        If you favorably cite the 2012 Séralini rats fed on Roundup ready maize study, you just lost the argument.” http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2013/06/the-seralini-rule-gmo-bogus-study.html

        Fortunately, even the publisher of the scandalous Seralini paper has belatedly asked that it be retracted.

        It is, of course, unfair to pre-judge someone’s views; however, as a way of saving time, if someone hasn’t done their homework, and doesn’t “get” why the Seralini paper was a travesty of the peer-review process, it’s probably not worth the energy trying to discuss a larger issue.

        • ZPT205

          They actually just went a step further and retracted it themselves when the authors refused to do so. Are you familiar with the Wakefield affair concerning vaccines? The parallels are quite similar.

          Of course, the conspiracy nuts are claiming that this was all Big Agriculture’s fault because one person who works for the journal happens to be a former Monsanto employee, even though that employee made sure not to involve himself in the decision concerning the paper.

  • Madeleine Love

    Read more about the GENERA list here and subsequent postings: http://madeleinelove.newsvine.com/_news/2013/09/18/20568345-my-great-big-list-of-studies-intro?lite

    Important studies are missing from both the Nicolia & GENERA lists. As for the Size of the GENERA lists, it has been somewhat padded by abstracts.

    Yours, going through the lists.

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

      GENERA is being compiled by the nonprofit Biofortified. It has about 650 on its list, and indeed miss some studies, but I don’t believe any “important” ones, whatever that means. They have run out of funding for now, but hope to get more and when they do, sometime within the next few months, they will have a searchable database of more than 2000. Whatever…the scientific consensus on genetically modified foods is overwhelming… about as overwhelming as the consensus on whether evolution is a “fact” or not.

      • Madeleine Love

        On the 18 September 2013 the GENERA list contained 600 entries. In comparison to the Nicolia list I think compilers have been sloppy in their work. The Nicolia list contains a few repeats and errors as well, but in my opinion within a more typical range of human error for people trying to produce accurate work.
        There is no scientific consensus that foods derived from commercial GM crops are safe to eat. Further, no matter how big the claims of scientific consensus are they will never be so overwhelming as to prevent my investigating their validity.
        Nicolia et al’s varied use of the term “scientific consensus” is interesting, used in far more contexts than the particular power frame used by GM proponents/propagandists. Sometimes ‘consensus’ can mean ‘agreement of findings’, rather than ‘agreement of a particular group of scientists’ though of course consensus bias needs to be investigated in each case. I went back to investigate the IPCC Climate Change models where the term ‘consensus’ is used a lot. In contrast to GM foods (which actually could be tested to develop a quantification of comparative risk, assuming the dedication of a large amount genuinely independent resources to the task), testing the actual validity of assumptions in the global environment models is impossible to do without placing the whole planet at risk. As such, the modelling required a lot of discussion with careful attention to terms relating to likelihood and consequence – there needed to be debates and agreements on variables and modelled interactions.
        The profound scientific disagreement on the safety of GM foods could be resolved through actual testing – no ‘consensus in the absence of data’ is required.
        I’m not sure anything will stop the GM proponents trying to use ‘scientific consensus’ as a power term – it has been used in such a manner before – but if used as a claim that there scientific agreement that GM foods are safe to eat it is deeply misleading.

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

          With all due respect, you are 100% wrong when you claim there is no scientific consensus on the safety of GM—not 99% but 100%. EVERY major science organization in the world including the central independent science academies in every major industrial country has come to the conclusion that GM crops or foods or as safe or safer than even organic alternatives–from the World Health Organization to the National Academy of Science to the Third World Science Academies. This no debate anymore except among conspiracy theory proponents. Here is a link to a GLP Infographic quoting many of these organizations—ALL independent: http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/08/27/glp-infographic-international-science-organizations-on-crop-biotechnology-safety/

          • Madeleine Love

            With all due respect, you are entirely wrong in the claim of scientific consensus, even considering state interests, trade obligations, funding bias, licence agreements, and even threats on scientists of the kind reported in the UK very recently, viz “Government policy in Britain, Canada and Australia is crushing academic integrity on behalf of corporate power” – Guardian, Monbiot http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/30/scientists-democracy-dissent-reasonable-boyd. Most institutions made strong qualifying statements though I note these are not put on GM proponent infographics. Being Australian I can pass on the information that the use of FSANZ is probably not your strongest move – FSANZ is not a ‘central independent science academy’ – it is a government authority with conflicting obligations to facilitate trade. I might write a piece on ‘scientific consensus’…

          • keefos

            Are universities also churning out studies largely antithetical to anthropogenic global warming? Pretty much the opposite. Curious that the “corporations” haven’t gotten to those researchers. The Guardian, by the way, is about the least convincing source of counterevidence to anyone not notably of the Left.

    • Stuart M.

      You obviously missed the “credible” caveat on which studies were included.

      • Madeleine Love

        ;) Coz… studies from the corporation that stands to profit have ‘credible’ labelled all over them? #droll

        • ZPT205

          Obviously you missed the part about 1000 studies being independent. Practice reading before you make silly comments.

          And if you want to know why the industry funds so many studies, it’s because the law requires they do so– you can’t blame them for that.

      • Dr. Peterson

        How amusing.
        What are the JADAD scores of these studies? How many samples, what were the P factors to assure quality. I challenge all the readers of this web and Monsanto to produce even 10% of these so called scientific studies that are double-blind crossovers. These are the only studies to be trusted, whether pro or con GMO.

  • DougI

    Contrary to the claim of the article, not all of the 1783 studies listed actually delve into research validating the safety of GMOs. Nor are all the studies listed actually studies. So it doesn’t really help the GMO case for authors of articles touting the vast research on the health and environmental safety of GMOs if the author didn’t even bother looking at the studies. Just knock this article up to more pro-GMO propaganda that’s meant to appeal to the pro-GMO crowd.

    Seems like the authors of the article merely did a subject search and referenced every possible article, study or editorial published in a science journal. Gotta wonder if they actually read anything they referenced.

    Better luck next time.

    • Stuart M.

      Pardon me, if I don’t take your word for it. Stop your baseless fear mongering.

      • DougI

        And what fear mongering would that be? Obviously you haven’t taken the time to read any of the links in the article so maybe it’s best if you weren’t intellectually lazy and read the list of “studies” for yourself.

        • http://cory.albrecht.name/ Cory Albrecht

          So then if you have, you can actually specifically list out those which do not meet your standards.

          • DougI

            There are the general articles like:
            Genetically modified foods: a taste of the future

            and

            Genetically Modified Corn— Environmental Benefits and Risks
            which are merely articles and are not studies.

            Then there is the entire category of “Tracecability” in the list of studies which have nothing to do with research on the environmental and health safety of GMO products.

            Right there you’ve eliminated a vast number of the claimed number of studies validating the safety of GMO products. So the number is hardly near the 1783 studies as claimed in the above article (the author just throws in the number 2000 out of the air without giving any validation either).

            So a bunch of claims and with no evidence backing that up, the article is merely pro-GMO propaganda which is easily refuted if someone actually bothered to look at a sampling of the referenced citations, and certainly not a case of “fear mongering” as a previous poster had claimed.

          • Parallel

            Genetically modified foods: a taste of the future
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12830747

            Genetically Modified Corn— Environmental Benefits and Risks

            http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0000008

            Look like studies to me…

          • George Shute

            “In response to what they believed was an information gap, a team of Italian scientists cataloged and analyzed 1783 studies about the safety and environmental impacts of GMO foods—a staggering number.”

            The 1783 studies number comes from the amount of studies that a team of Italian scientists cataloged.

            The “2000+” is the amount of studies, in total, that have been done.

            So, to recap: there have been over 2,000 studies on GMOs. A team of Italian scientist have cataloged and analyzed 1783 such studies.

            Seriously, this isn’t hard to figure out.

          • DougI

            Clearly you have a difficult time finding out what a study actually is so I’ll ask again, show me the methodology in the “study” in referenced nursing journal.

          • George Shute

            There are THOUSANDS of studies. Stop hanging your entire argument on one article. It doesn’t hold weight when you remove the myopia.

          • DougI

            I just picked one as an example, I could choose many others but it’s not like I’d get an answer to any of them since it’s pretty obvious all of you know I’m right, that’s why my point has yet to be refuted.

          • George Shute

            Sure thing, Captain Delusional.

            What’s you point? That some of the links are to articles that use studies rather than actual studies?

            Okay, great. That doesn’t somehow validate your idiotic junk-science, though.

            I’m going to stop replying to your inanity because there is nothing to talk about with you other how “right” you are, which you aren’t.

            Anyways, I win because I said so. Seems about as reasonable as your own assertion.

          • DougI

            Your second paragraph is that point and that the article on this blog is misleading, inaccurate propaganda. Your third paragraph is merely projection.

          • http://ultimateglutenfree.com/ Peter Olins

            George — “Never feed a troll”.

        • Becca Swenson Belden

          My husband works for bayer crop science and since he does…. I consider him an expert in this field. If he says all this about GMO’s are hype…. I believe him. Some people just aren’t happy unless they’re fear mongering people!!!

          • DougI

            It’s not like there’s a conflict of interest there but I’ll ask again, what have I presented that’s fear mongering? If you guys have the science on your side I’d expect more than fallacies like appeals to authority or outright lying about something I’ve said.

            How is reading the “studies” your side presents the equivalent of fear mongering? Do you guys even read the science or do you all just know a guy who works for a GMO company?

          • Andrew

            Try to watch all of this. It’s not fear mongering, it’s honest research: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUd9rRSLY4A

          • https://www.facebook.com/General.L33 Truth Troll

            The same Bayer Corp that shipped Factor VIII contaminated with HIV? Yup! We’ll take their word for it. LoL!

          • Daniel Hendrick

            Bayer has saved thousands with its crop science. The crop yields increases and prevented hundreds of millions of deaths from starvation. People who’ve never produced a crop don’t know the slightest bit about agriculture. They don’t know even the basics the affects of the weather, the pests, the challenges.

          • https://www.facebook.com/General.L33 Truth Troll

            So again I will ask. We are suppose to trust a company that KNOWINGLY shipped Factor Vlll that was contaminated with HIV?

          • Daniel Hendrick

            Oversimplification of world war two – your historical revisionism is creative. Technically the allies were the bad guys and the Nazi’s obeyed the rules. American’s smuggled goods to Britain with any flag from their box of flags. The times of world war were very different times – the Nazi’s were very patient before they finally attacked the U.S. They put up with a lot of cheating and suffered tremendous casualties. You no nothing about history

          • https://www.facebook.com/General.L33 Truth Troll

            Didn’t think you would answer the question. Funny how “science” didn’t stop Germany and other countries from banning GMO. There is not one scientific study showing the effects of GMO long term in humans. Please direct me to such a study if I am wrong. I won’t even get into the revolving door between these companies and the FDA. GMO is not stopping world starvation. Throw that stupid argument out of the window. If people can’t afford to buy the food they still go hungry. Let’s not forget about all the farmers these companies put into debt.

          • Daniel Hendrick

            Ronald Reagan sought to open up European agricultural markets to free trade and he succeeded in doing so. But in order to undermine that free trade agreement in order to have an unfair trade. The protectionistic European farmers magically misused the GMO issue completely nullify free trade agreements and the GMO pawns here can’t spot the obvious they returned to protectionistic tactics they had in place before Reagan. Reagan fought hard to open up European markets to American products. But the banning of American farm products is only about European’s returning to protectionists tactics and nullification of Ronald Reagan’s efforts at keeping world markets open for producers to sell in foreign markets

          • Daniel Hendrick

            You’re just setting up unnecessary regulatory hurdles to tax the system. Your creating a fallacy that if we search long and hard enough we’ll find a long term effect if we keep studying it long it enough. But organic producers don’t study their product ad all – so while you’re waiting for the GMO long term studies to show a flaw, no data will prove the organic food is worse, because no long term studies are being performed.

          • https://www.facebook.com/General.L33 Truth Troll

            Organic farmers are not munipulating the make up of the food like Monsanto is. Why do they need to do research on non gmo food? It’s the same food people have been eating and growing for centuries. GMO is new to the block here. I don’t understand what Organic farmers should be researching for. Please explain.

          • http://ultimateglutenfree.com/ Peter Olins

            Daniel,
            Please don’t feed a troll. As much as you or I might like to engage, endlessly, please don’t. Starvation is the only cure.

    • http://ultimateglutenfree.com/ Peter Olins, PhD

      Doug, I’m glad that you have taken the time to study these 1783 articles. While we may quibble about whether all the articles should have been included, this is a phenomenal resource for people interested in getting closer to the truth. Can you highlight the best one or two references that indicate plants bred through GM technology are more likely to be unsafe than those bred using alternative approaches? Also, were there any key references that were missed?

      • DougI

        Nice strawman argument, perhaps you would do best to respond to my post rather than attempt to misrepresent what I said.

        • http://ultimateglutenfree.com/ Peter Olins, PhD

          @Dougl, if you main objection to JoAnna’s article was that not all the 1783 references were primary research, then I agree. (Or is that just another straw-man?). The authors of the Nicolia review clearly stated that: “We selected original research papers, reviews, relevant opinions and reports addressing all the major issues that emerged in the debate on GE crops, trying to catch the scientific consensus that has matured since GE plants became widely cultivated worldwide.”

          Not all reviews or reports are peer-reviewed, but that doesn’t necessarily disqualify them from being part of a comprehensive examination of GE safety. Added to the existing dataset in the GENERA project, the review by Nicolia et al. offers an exceptional resource for anyone interested in GMO food safety.

          Very few people on earth will have read all 1783 references. However, please tell us if there was anything critical missing, or whether there was a smoking gun that wasn’t highlighted by the authors.

          • DougI

            Yes, the articles were cherry picked by the researchers to support a pre-conceived conclusions. There mere fact that non-studies were included shows that there aren’t 1783 studies proving the safety of GMOs. Therefore the study is a fraud and the article on this page is merely pro-GMO propaganda. If, as the pro-GMO crowd often attests, they have the science to support their position then they wouldn’t have to resort to such dishonesty.

          • http://ultimateglutenfree.com/ Peter Olins, PhD

            @Dougl, We’re all on the same side here. I am in no way hung up on numbers. Rather making claims of “fraud”—which is a distraction, because it guesses motives—please tell us about specific articles that were missed, or any key articles in the database that we need to focus on, to help forward this discussion.

          • Reed P.

            Peter Olins is my hero.

          • George Shute

            Yes, they were cherry-picked. All 1,700+ articles.

            That’s not cherry-picking, you dolt, that’s consensus.

    • Ryan Hall

      have you read all 1783 studies?! I’m really impressed with YOUR research! You should probably list all the exceptions then however, just to let us know which ones show evidence to which side of the case. Also, you should probably know that after investing 200 million euros in research including 50 studies over a span of 25 years, the European Commission stated that, “there is, as of today (december 2010), no scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants.”

      • DougI

        It’s not necessary to read all the studies to debunk the claim in the article that over 2000 studies affirm the safety of GMOs. One would be all that it takes but I did a random sampling of the studies and, as I expressed earlier, saw that not all the citations were studies and some of the studies never tested the safety of GMOs. Which means I read more studies than the author of the article (or, for that matter, you).

    • Daniel Hendrick

      Not all the researchers are tip top yes, but all scientists can disprove their own bias and self deception. All scientists seek to have their work challenged as long as research is reproducible research and not I know the results of the research before I begin research and not seeking to discover the truth.

    • Ammyth

      How easy it is for people to dismiss mountains of research by simply calling those who they disagree with “shills” or “sellouts.” You honestly don’t think that the Italian scientists who performed this meta-study READ the studies they wrote about? Do you ever realize how paranoid and ridiculous that sounds?

      • DougI

        And yet the lack of facts you have presented doesn’t refute any of my criticisms. Go figure.

        • Ammyth

          No, legions of scientists have already done that. You are just choosing to ignore them because you think you know better. Lack of facts, indeed.

          • DougI

            Gee, even with “legions of scientists” supporting you not one of you could explain how the article from the nursing journal is a scientific study. Imagine that.

          • Scott

            Mate, some of the people on here actually have a education that exceeds yours, belive it or not (shock horror). Scientific articles, discussion papers and studies are different, congratulations for working that one out for us. However they are all an important part of this article used for highlighting the broad and massive amounts of work that has been done by actual scientists from all over the world. Actual scientists who have correctly formated, written and studied these things. Scientists who have dedicated there working life to be in a position where they have the authority to write such articles. These articles and the articles they are referenced from are not just claims and statements.
            Also, I don’t know anything about you but how can you not understand the importance and safety related to the traceability of our food, that’s a no brainer….
            Journels are full of scientific articles….. what are you even saying ?

          • DougI

            So you don’t know anything about me but you’ve concluded that you know my education level. Rather dishonest really, but that seems to be the topic of the thread. By your reasoning, this blog could be listed as a source in the metadata study since what qualifies as a study know is anything that supports the author’s pre-conceived conclusion.

          • Scott

            Sorry, I assumed, however with even minor or limited background in science and one would know what constitutes the “sources” scientific papers. How is what you said my reasoning ?
            This blog may be used in a study related to popular science and it’s relation to the public lol.

          • DougI

            I suppose one has to reduce their standards if they’re going to support GMOs. Corporations have herbicides to sell so it’s not surprising that they’d let their standards fall to the wayside yet again when there’s profit to be gained.

          • Scott

            I’m not going to lie, I support gm research and many gm crops, I’m also finalizing my science degree but don’t worry I’m not controlled by some allmighty corporation lol nor am I going to work with anything genetics related (can’t stand it)
            Soil degradation is a real problem all over the world and the food that we all eat isn’t going to become saline resistant on its own. As stated on here heaps, your eating gm if you like it or not, ultimately it’s like selective breeding (done over years and years) just more efficient, refined and tailored. Quite amazing actually.
            What if gm has the potential to feed everyone? Think of 3rd world countries being 100% self reliant, producing there own safe food. Simple things like blindness from vitamin deficiencies have been almost eradicated in places because of the introduction of gm crops and plants.

            And if your worried about gm crops wiping out the original species (evolution has been doing this for ages) then you can rest assured, you’ll find that most 1st world countries and a few international conglomerates have seed banks storing the genetic information of the past present and future. (Que creepy science alien music)
            Don’t worry guys most scientists don’t won’t to destroy the world….

    • http://ultimateglutenfree.com/ Peter Olins

      Doug, You raise an important point about the term “study”. Articles published in scientific journals in this field fall into at least three broad classes: primary reports of new data; reviews of results from multiple, previous papers; and commentaries. Often the review papers are very valuable, because they provide context, they discuss strengths and weaknesses of the current state of knowledge, and they draw conclusions about the current weight of evidence on a particular subject. Reviews will often contain insights that were absent from the primary experimental research. I addition, reviews (such as in a cross-disciplinary nursing journal) also perform the important role of educating people about the current weight of evidence, even if the reader may not have sufficient expertise to judge it themselves.

      Therefore, I think it was totally appropriate for the Nicolia group to include reviews in their collection of papers. Doug, in your comments over the past few months, you seem to be focusing on methodology, and I think you have made your point. But do you have anything useful to add about the two core issues: 1) are there any papers that are “smoking guns”, strongly suggesting a reason for concern?, and 2) were there any key research studies that were missed from the Nicolia and Genera collections?

  • luigi

    probably somebody is looking at this topic upside down and i think is missing the meaning of what a market is: it’s a place where producers and buyers meet. buyers are the ones that “drive” the market, ’cause they spend their own money and decide what to buy, depending not only on what their needs are but also on their life philosophy. producers have to follow their choices and try to understand where they lead to. laws have the role to facilitate this “relationship”, supporting consumers to express themselves and feel safe. thus, i think it’s a logical consequence to label GMO foods, just because it’s a democratic right in a democratic State.

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

      Luigi, I know you sincerely believe that it’s a democratic right to have label, and in theory, I agree…but none of the labeling proposals I have read would convey meaningful information to consumers. Scientific American–which I would assume that no one would question its independence, reviewed this challenge in a recent editorial in which it declared that GMO labels–the ones being endorsed by advocacy groups–are a really bad idea, unscientic and misleading. http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/08/21/scientific-american-labels-for-gmo-foods-are-a-bad-idea/#.UlgdfCSv-uM

      So, what might be a meaningful label? Well, on tobacco products, we have labels that say that tobacco is harmful to your health or the Surgeon General has determined it is harmful to your health. Many labeling advocates site tobacco labeling as an essential inspiration. So, why not label products with GMOs in the ingredients section as such:

      –this product was made with USDA approved genetically engineered products that the World Health Organization and US National Academy of Sciences has determined are as healthy or healthier than organic foods. The scientific consensus is that the production of genetically modified ingredients results in less use of pesticides and a net sustainability gain.

      So, we are on the same page…let’s have a meaningful label that actually conveys information that can help the consumer make a choice based on facts rather than fear.

      Will you support this? Or is your real goal to create fears that are rejected by the mainstream science community with the same level of consensus that scientists reject creationism.

      • IScott22

        ln fact, GMOs do NOT “result in less use of pesticides”: in fact, the opposite occurs, because ‘pests’ are also biologic organisms, and they evolve defenses requiring increased doses of pesticides in turn. Roundup-ready is a case in point.

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

          Thanks for your post. The empirical evidence contradicts your comment however. First, most GM crops are not herbicide tolerant varieties; that’s just a small subset. In the case of GM crops paired with the use of Roundup Ready, glyphosate is about 100 times less toxic than the chemicals it replaces, so the environment is doused with far less toxic chemicals even in the rare cases when the volume of glyphosate exceeds the volume of the far more toxic chemical it replaces. The problem of pest resistance is common all through agriculture, so it’s not a GMO issue. That’s dealt with through crop rotation. BTW, organic farmers often use the chemical Bt (which is in some GM plants) but at much higher volumes. They also use copper, which is many multiples more toxic than even the most potent synthetic chemical. Farming is very challenging; chemicals are necessary. It’s all about proper management. But statements like “GMOs result in the use of more pesticides” are just not accurate.

          • DougI

            Contrary to your claim, glyphosate is still a chemical and the “amount of harm” is not a measure of the volume of herbicide. Since IScott mentioned pesticide use, replying with herbicide use as a rebuttal isn’t accurate. Studies show that pesticide use increases because bt crops only target certain species and pesticides still have to be used for non-targeted species which increase in number due to less competition from targeted species. As since evolution is a scientific fact, and targeted species to evolve, the only means of combating them is increase use of pesticide. That’s why long term studies have shown that GMOs result in increased use of pesticides.

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

            You are right…the volume of a chemical does not equate with harm. Glyphosate is about 100 times less toxic than the chemicals it has replaced. It’s usage has led to a sharp fall off in the toxic impact of many agricultural practices. Organic farmers extensively use chemicals, including Bt, which is also used in some GMO products. Good farming practices require sophisticated pest management practices, regardless if they are using organic, conventional or GMO seeds.

          • DougI

            Claiming something is 100 times less harmful than something else doesn’t exclude it from being in the realm of something that is harmful. Thanks for the little Monsanto talking point but it’s quite meaningless.

            In regards to good farming practices, the use of GMOs encourages monoculture and discourages things like crop rotation. So if your goal is positive farming practices then you can’t be in favor of gm crops.

          • keefos

            Your use of “is still a chemical” to indicate a problem suggests ignorance and/or bias. Water is a chemical.

          • DougI

            Thanks for the trolling of my posts. I’ll be moving on now.

  • ScienceME_up!

    It says 2000+ but in reality it is 1,783 studies. So why the name? #GMO’s

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

      If you read the article, it states clearly that this study contains 1783, but it’s limited to 10 years. There have been studies over 30 years, many of them in the GENERA database. Between them there are already well over 2000 studies. Hope this helps.

  • Andrew

    This is not true.
    This guy was hired to do proper research and was fired for publishing honest results:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%81rp%C3%A1d_Pusztai

  • Andrew

    US Doctors call for immediate moratorium on GM foods
    “GM foods pose a serious health risk”, states a new report from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM). The position paper, released on the 19th May, calls for physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid genetically modified foods (GM) and provide educational materials concerning health risks.

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

      Andrew, the AAEM are alternative medicine proponents, not mainstream physicians. I’m sure many of them are sincere, but the organization is dominated by natural product hucksters and pseudo scientists. We’re not talking about the American Medical Association or the National Academy of Science or the American Association for the Advancement of Science, all of which have endorsed the safety of GM foods. These are crackpots, by and large.

      • Andrew

        You think you are going to find any mainstream studies? Monsanto, FDA, USA Gov., mainstream sci institutions – same line of people. GMO studies will never be unbiased as long as company like Monsanto is dominating GMO market. And should you trust company that produced:

        - Dioxin and Agent Orange (designed only to destory Vietnemese jungle – killed more than 400,000 Vietnamese while half a million children were born with birth defects and up to million people were disabled or suffered from chronic diseases. More than 3 million American troops and their offspring were also the victims of Agent Orange.

        -PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls – production started in 1920 , in 1970 it was finally banned). Took them 50 years.

        -DDT (In 1944 Monsanto among 15 other companies started manufacturing DDT as a pesticide for killing weeds. Despite all the claims of Monsanto that DDT was safe, the research in 1970s confirmed all the side effects and harms of DDT and DDTs were banned in 1972.). Took them 28 years.

        -Roundup (even more toxic than DDT). Of course, FDA and it’s host of scientist will say that is’t ok just like they did for DDT and Aspartam but you can find tone of sci. articles proving otherwise (which is kind of a miracle.)

        -Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) is injected to livestock for faster growth and production of more milk. rBGH growth hormones can cause painful udder infections in livestock which forces large commercial dairy farmers to give cows injection of antibiotics routinely. Human beings are exposed to rBGH growth hormones and antibiotics when they consume meat or dairy of livestock that are injected with hormones. Based on many studies rBGH growth hormones are related to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Hormones are also related to a wave of chronic diseases including colon cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and obesity. Both European Union and Canada have banned use of growth hormones in livestock.

        I am not going to put Aspartam here but I am not consuming any products with it just like I wouldn’t consume anything else produced by Monsanto.

        • hyperzombie

          Wow, great info. An industrial/AG chemical company makes industrial and agricultural chemicals. Who would have guessed.
          PS DDT kills insects not plants..

        • keefos

          DDT was blacklisted in a political witch hunt whose scientific rational was discredited almost as soon as the smear campaign started. Millions of poor people died as a result.

  • My son is sick because of GMO

    Nearly all of those ‘most-studied’ tests were 90-day animal trials (3 months). The issues which are cropping up now are all long-term health issues which occur at around 18 months in animal studies. So it takes 18 months to grow a cancer and not just 3 months. Funny how you chose to omit that, huh? People will start to believe the corporations when they start to publishing some long-term generational studies. I used to work at Arthur D. Little. I know the difference. People aren’t stupid.

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

      It’s sad that your son is sick, but there is zero chance that GMOs is the cause of it. There is no biological difference between a food made through the process of genetic modification versus conventional or organic foods. The US has been eating GM foods for 17 years and cancer rates are going down, not up. Cancer patterns and diseased patterns in western countries where GMOs are not eaten are no different. You have a right to believe what you want of course–that’s what religion is all about. Science is based on evidence and the empirical evidence is clear: GMOs pose no unusual harm. There is no biological possibility, certainly not in causing cancer, as even the disgraced Seralini admits.

      • 1123581321345589

        Jon, if you defend the safety of GMO’s, it’s best that you consume them on a regular basis. It’s a noble way to at least stand up for your opinion.

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

          I do, every day, and so do you, as 75% of foods in the US contain it (and not one case of any health related problems after 17 years).

          • Celeste Arnold

            There is not one case of any health related problems linked to GMOs because as they are not labeled- therefore doctors cannot ascertain the real cause of the illness. There are many illnesses that doctors are uncertain of the cause, if we could know what’s in our food and environment we could possibly find the cause.

          • Jon Entine

            Celeste, what you write is not accurate. Genetic modification is a process not an end point, so labeling that something is or is not GM would provide zero information to determining the causes of certain condition. There is no biological mechanism for the process of GMOs to create an illness. There have been more than 2000 studies and reviews, and this issue has reached a critical consensus.–the process of GMOs is not fundamentally different than the process of conventional breeding, other than it’s more exact and there less potential side effects–and they’ve been pre-evaluated. You’ll need to find a new bogeyman–the process of genetic modification is safe, as every major health organization in the world has concluded.

          • Celeste Arnold

            Jon, writing people and telling them they are not accurate in everything they say shows that you are not willing to consider other points of view. You believe whole-heartedly that they are safe, that is nice for you but treating condescendingly doesn’t help your argument.
            I believe that if you want to find the source of a problem, you need to find the root. What you eat everyday effects your health. How do people find out what they are allergic too? They deduce what it is they ate that they had a reaction to, they eliminate it and they see the improvements or not.
            We have a right to know what we are eating.

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

            Celeste, when you make a statement that’s wrong it should stand uncorrected. The difference between me and you on this issue is that I respect empirical evidence and you believe all scientific is political and corrupt. To me that’s conspiratorial thinking. When every major science organization in the world, bar none, comes to the same conclusion, then we have a consensus. We have it on evolution (it’s real) and vaccines (safe). We have it on GMOs, despite a loud anti-science movement. There are very few food allergies, and none linked to any GMO product. Many people think they have GMO wheat allergies, but there is no GMO wheat. There are no GMO nuts. The body could not tell the difference between GMO corn and non-GMO corn, so if there were any allergies (and there are very few to corn), there would be no differences. All the approved GMOs have been run through the international allergen banks. Sorry, you’ll need another bogeyman.

          • Celeste Arnold

            Entine- this is not a black and white subject as you seem to think it is. What is your fixation with the bogey man? I don’t believe all science is political and corrupt, in fact I am in search of more research being done on this subject.
            There are more issues with GE crops than you seem to realize, such as environmental issues of mono-crops and all of the earths seed and food supply controlled by one company – Monsanto which is pretty scary.

            I don’t wish to argue the safety of eating them because as I’ve already stated (which you can’t really refute) is the fact that the FDA isn’t to be trusted with our health. Why do you think over 64 other countries either ban or label GMOs? Do you think that they believe that they are the safest food ever offered? No, they don’t because there are other scientific tests being done out there that don’t seem to be mentioned on the sites that you are reading about. We have the right to know what is in our food.

          • Jon Entine

            Celeste, you seem disinterested in distinguishing between political bans voted in by politicians and recommendations by scientists that endorse science and say ideology should not guide policy. When creationist factions on the Texas School Board voted to restrict the teaching of evolution in defiance of the science consensus, most people other than science denialists, made that disinction. That’s no different than when the European Commission and the European Food Safety Authority–among the most independent science organizations in the world, and which actually fund independent research on GMOs–come to the exact conclusions as the FDA—and yet European politicians voted to impose a ban on some but not all GMOs. That’s not science, that’s politics. Science says: GMOs safe. Activists say: Ignore science, let’s vote on fear. If you can’t embrace consensus science–and we are talking every major science organization in the world has found GMOs safe or safer than conventional and organics–than your religious beliefs in effect are no different than those of creationists. As for the monoculture meme, as you probably know, invoking that has nothing necessarily to do with GMOs…it’s an issue for all of agriculture. Monoculture is a complex issue, and I believe most nuanced scientists believe that large scale agriculture offers some enormous advantages over small scale varieties in many but not all situations. All tools are needed to confront local and global food issues. GMOs are safer or safer than alternatives. They are part of the solution but not a silver bullet. Get some balance in your life. Read a science book. Learn genetics 101. Pledge never to read Jeffrey Smith or site NaturalNews.com. Claiming the GMOS are evil else is just ideology–that’s where you are now. They are one tool to deal with complex issues. All tools offer benefits and challenges. GMOs and organics are no different.

          • Celeste Arnold

            It’s not a consensus. There are other scientists and nations around the world with differing opinions.
            Yes, mono-culture has to do with agriculture, and GE crops are taking over our agriculture so yes, they have everything to do with each other.

          • Jon Entine

            Celeste, you are resistant to the concept of empirical evidence. Consensus doesn’t mean everyone. You can go on the Internet and find thousands of scientists who support creationism or scientists who claim vaccines cause harm or scientists who claim that GMOs are not safe. In each of those cases, the consensus among experts is well more than 95%. You are part of a crank–and diminishing-minority. As for monoculture, large scale agriculture is not the same as monoculture. You need to freshen up on your basic agriculture facts and not just quote cliches from Michael Pollan. Neither GMOs nor large scale agriculture necessarily equals monoculture, and we need a variety of production systems to meet various global and local food challenges. My god, we would kill hundreds of millions of people if we switched to small scale organics if it it meant giving up large scale agriculture. If you support diverse agriculture–solutions tailored to specific challenges–than you would support GMOs in many situations (but not all) because they add to genetic diversity and are far more sustainable than organic agriculture–and you did not know that? Not in Pollan’s book? Not on Jeffrey Smith’s website? Try a basic ag book.

          • Cindy Koch

            My body sure tells me when I’ve eaten GMOs!

          • Ishmael

            You are wrong Celeste. He has considered your view point, and found it inaccurate… and just because someone disagrees with you does not mean they are condescending to you.

          • Celeste Arnold

            Thanks for your opinion Ishmael. But I do not think that I am wrong in the fact that Entoman has been condescending in his argument and I don’t feel that he considered my viewpoint either. He puts down people that argue against them saying they are not smart and haven’t read about the subject. That is personal attack instead of a debate, therefore condescending..

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Of course you don’t think you’re wrong but you are in fact wrong. You have based your opinions on demonstrably false claims. That’s not.meant to be condescending its trying to illustrate that the information you used to come to your conclusions is false, therefore when confronted by this truth you should reevaluate your position based on verifiable evidence. You refuse to do that and it’s incredibly frustrating to those of us trying to educate people on the facts about genetic modification.

            As to the point of Mr. entine not considering your point of view, While scientists use expert consensus as a benchmark it should not be misconstrued to mean science is democratic. Scientific evidence cares nothing for the sensibilities of the human condition such as “opinion” or “belief”. So while you may be entitled to your beliefs you are not entitled to be free of criticism of those beliefs, especially when those beliefs run contrary to the evidence or as in the case of your criticisms of GMOs are found to be completely unfounded

          • Celeste Arnold

            I believe in science just as much as you gmo supporters do, who always claim that we are science deniers. In fact I would like to have a bit more scientific studies on this issue. Your so called consensus is not in all actuality quite true, when looking at the 64 Nations have either banned or labeled GMOs and Over 130 nations who have signed on to the Cartagena Protocol, an agreement to take the precautionary principle regarding GMOs.
            Also, we don’t label ingredients because they are dangerous. We label all ingredients because it is our right to know what is in our food.

          • http://ultimateglutenfree.com/ Peter Olins

            Celeste, As a scientist, I’m always glad to see more data (!), but what SPECIFIC study do you think needs to be done to distinguish crops that have been modified by biotech versus alternative technology?

          • bruce

            The GM organisms may be expressing genes combinations that do not currently exist in our food chain. So the same studies that would be done for the FDA, for any new chemical being sold into the human food chain, should be applied here.

      • Bruce

        Zero chance?. Incorrect, there is always the chance that one of these unique combinations could go wrong when feed to humans.

    • Daniel Hendrick

      Classic placebo effect- once the research subject knows the opinion required to be true they’ll make it so.

  • https://www.facebook.com/General.L33 Truth Troll

    So if they are safe why do they fight tooth and nail not to label them? We label fat content, Sugar content, etc… Why not state the way the ingredients or the food was grown? Don’t people have the right to this as consumers? Why all the secrecy?

    • keefos

      Because unnecessary bureaucratic overhead costs everybody, mainly consumers, a lot of money. Unless there’s a good reason for labeling, compulsion is inappropriate. If the FDA cannot be trusted to decide what is safe and needs to be labeled, it should be disbanded. Otherwise, it should be heeded (albeit not blindly).

      • Celeste Arnold

        The FDA should not be trusted and we have seen this in case after case in history. From DDT, PCBs and rBGH (which by the way were all Monsanto products) they have been released and promoted in public, then later find out they cause cancer. So…
        Also, the FDA doesn’t actually perform any scientific tests, they require the companies, in this case Monsanto, to send them their test results in order to show they are safe.
        Therefore, we need to make our own informed decisions. Ergo- labeling is clearly justified.

        • Jon Entine

          The FDA funds some studies and reviews all of the critical ones necessary to make an independent evaluation. That takes years of careful evaluation and research. Many international organizations actually fund and oversee studies, such as the European Commission (which endorses the safety of GMOs despite the opposition by politicians–science matters.) There have been more than 1000 independent studies of genetically modified crops. Not one study in a major journal has found any health or safety related problems linked to the process of GMOs. Science may not matter to you, but it does to the World Health Organisation, the EU, the National Academy of Sciences and every major independent science organization in the world. Obviously, the science conflicts with your religious views about science; we see this all the time in people who are opposed to teaching evolutionary theory. But please, don’t confuse religion and ideology with science.

          • Buster Fykes

            “The FDA funds some studies and reviews all of the critical ones necessary to make an independent evaluation.” that’s a very political statement. it’s called ‘double-talk’, in that what you are in fact saying , is that the FAD does not test, why don’t you leave politics out of heath issues, and don’t intentionally leave out all the scientific findings that have led to European and other foreign countries, and even the main island of Hawaii disallowing the planting of GMO seeds…there are still a few people left alive, that believe that mother nature is a bit more intelligent than people with a bunch of letters at the end of their name, whom sense themselves as Demi-Gods~~~.

          • http://ultimateglutenfree.com/ Peter Olins

            Buster,

            The EFSA is the central body that reviews the safety of foods in Europe. Unfortunately, many individual governments have overruled the EFSA when it comes to GMO-derived foods. (Check out their site http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/panels/gmo.htm )

            Europe is a sad case of politics trumping science, but there’s no reason why the US needs to join the other lemmings.

            “Mother nature” is incredibly dumb, but this is not the place to get into an intelligent design debate. However, you raise an important point: the current Western trend towards anti-rational/anti-science decision making is a major threat to our society. Fortunately, there are a handful of websites like this that are trying to help us from slipping back into the Dark Ages.

      • https://www.facebook.com/General.L33 Truth Troll

        Well it should be disbanded then because NO government agency can be trusted. Especially when those government agencies start hiring insiders of the the GMO crowd like ‘Michael Taylor who is now the senior advisor to the commissioner of the FDA. Sure that’s no conflict of interest now is it?

      • Buster Fykes

        the fda doesn’t test, they leave it up to mountsandhole

    • Daniel Hendrick

      Insiders claim is indicating lack of understanding that even if they are biased by being insiders – it doesn’t matter, because reproducible science is reproducible. Total avoidance of science as the solution to the debate whether they are corrupt, why because if you’re selling malarkey you don’t want science to disprove your malarkey. Yes people who have scientifically proven their claim is correct. Do want the question resolved scientifically, but those who don’t want it solved scientifically are the corrupt. Science is unbiased – but pseudo science is biased.

  • Josh Nyce

    I am seriously confused after reading this. I have seen tons of studies and etc. stating that GMOs are bad for the environment. So, clearly either the studies that say GMOs are bad is wrong or these studies are wrong. But, how do you know which one is true or not since they are both scientific studies. Someone has to be wrong then. Well, here is a list of studies and articles talking about how GMOs are bad: http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/eight-reasons-gmos-are-bad-for-you.html
    http://www.scienceandsociety.emory.edu/GMO/Environment.htm

    A quote from a website shows that your studies are not valid because GMOs are not very new and we have not had enough time to see the effects of them on environment and people. “Many GMOs are so new that we haven’t had time to weight the effects, good or bad, of these items. Foods such as Bt-resistant corn may be making the world safer, by reducing the need for pesticide sprays. However, they may cause trouble for the environment in other, as-yet undiscovered, ways.”
    http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/gmos-good-or-bad-planet.

    • Jon Entine

      Josh, I’m not quite sure how to respond. I can assure you you have not seen “tons of studies…stating that GMOs are bad for the environment,” as there are none–zero. There are claims on websites, such as “organicauthority.com”, but that’s not a science site; it’s an activist site. As the scientific article in this article points out, there have been more than 1700 studies in the years 2002-2012 alone, and well more than 2200 studies in total, and not one study in a major peer reviewed science publication has found any environmental or safety problems that are unique to GMOs. Some studies have pointed out that the use of some GMO seeds can lead to superweeds, but that’s also true of conventional seeds–it has nothing to do with the type of seed and everything to do with crop management, rotation of crops, etc. GMO crops have been in existence for more than 30 years and have been planted for more than 17 years. There is not one safety or health or environmental issue that has been identified in the world unique to GMOs. Mainstream scientists–not fringe organic or anti-GMO websites–overwhelmingly endorse the environmental and health safety of GMOs. I’m talking real, independent scientists–the World Health Organisation, the National Academy of Sciences, the European Food Safety Authority, the European Commission, the German Academy of Sciences—more than 100 organizations in all. Here is a list with links of major organizations: http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/08/27/glp-infographic-international-science-organizations-on-crop-biotechnology-safety/#.Uqvtv42j_uI . There are no mainstream scientists critical of GMOs. (Some people can raise legitimate questions about conventional agricultural practices, but that is a different debate that’s often lumped in with the GMO discussion.) That should tell you something about the credibility of “professional critics.”

    • sjv

      I would suggest, Josh, for you to look at publications from scientific journals, not the sources you cited. They are pointed and not based in science. Scientific journals have to go through a peer review process, reviewed by other scientists that had nothing to do with the study, to make sure they are valid. The biggest thing when dealing with getting conflicting information, is knowing how to find the empirical evidence through credible sources, to see the information yourself.

  • keefos

    The US organic food industry is worth more than $30 billion dollars a year—more than triple the sales of food-related products by Monsanto or DuPont. This is big business with vested interests and political influence.

  • Brad

    GENERA is not an “independent” organization, their board of directors is made up of pro-GMO and biotech industry people, especially David Tribe, a viscious and vociferous pro-GMO blogger, zealot and internet comment troller. GENERA even co-ops the term ‘Franken Food’ and twists it into a cuddly mascot.

    GENERA has an agenda, they say so right in their website: “the claim that there is no science, hardly any science, or only industry science conducted on genetically engineered crops kept coming up. Some would say that the few independent studies always found problems.
    Dr. David Tribe started to assemble a list of studies to refute these claims, and to show the studies that support the safety of these crops for consumption, the environment, etc.”

    http://www.biofortified.org/2013/10/making-sense-of-lists-of-studies/

    In other words, the whole “list” has a predetermined outcome, to “refute the claims”. It’s politically motivated, and as such, pure propaganda.
    Fucking hilarious.

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

      Brad, if you curse again you will be banned from this list forever and your comments expunged. The GLP welcomes healthy discussions.

      As for “independent,” the word is not defined as “agrees with Brad.” Independent means that the person or organization is not being paid for their views or is financially or ideologically compromised by pre-determined conclusions independent of what the empirical evidence suggests . Someone who works for Syngeneta or Greenpeace would not be considered “independent” even if he/she did great research. Each individual’s research should be evaluated on its on merits, and no one should embrace or dismiss research or analysis from someone with documentable industry or ideological ties–but he/she would not be independent.

      Whatever you may think of the scientists at Biofortified, the organization and the scientists are the epitome of independent. They do not take industry money. Their work is well respected in the science community. Their research is grounded in empirical data and reflects the consensus of 95% of the mainstream genetics community.

      The fact that their basic conclusion–that they reject simplistic and erroneous claims that there are few or mostly flawed studies demonstrating the basic safety of GMOs–happens to conform with the views of every major independent science organization in the world–bar none–does not by some twisted logic make them not independent.

      Also, as far as I know, and I am quite familiar with their work and writings, no one affiliated with Biofortified has taken a “political” stand on any issue related to agricultural biotechnology, as you insinuated

      Because of YOUR ideological view of science you may reject their individual conclusions; you may consider the World Health Organisation and the National Academy of Sciences promoters of ‘junk science.’ You’d be wrong on all these accounts, but you are welcome to your opinions, however misguided. You are not welcome to manipulate the facts though.

  • Lila Hw

    Most of the problems in genetic engineering will probably be solved by paradigm advances in physics in string theory.
    The main problem the Food and Chemical Toxicology Editor claimed was the reason for the extraction of Dr. Seralini, PhD.’s article was the use of only 10 rats per male and female groups.”Concerning the statistical power in a t test at 5%, with the comparison of 2 samples of 10 rats, there is a 44% chance to miss a significant effect of 1 standard deviation (SD; power 56%)(1.)
    However, Dr. Seralini’s, extracted research design was nearly identical with Monsanto’s animal feeding studies for NK 603, MON 810, MON 863 [Sprague-Dawley albino strain, with 10 rats per gender group]. But Monsanto’s designs were only 90 days, while Dr. Seralini’s design found rats fed Round up Ready’s glyphosate for 2 years, developed cancer tumors.
    Thus Monsanto’s NK 603, MON 810, MON 863 corns, ethically should be time wise/intelligently recalled [extracted] because their experimental safety design has a 44 % chance the corn could be toxic. In fact Dr. Seralini did a more competent statistical analysis of Monsanto’s original studies, and found indeed Monsanto’s lab rats had signs of liver and kidney diseases (2.).
    There are many other peer reviewed research studies showing Monsanto’s paradigm is flawed and dangerous. Here are just a few.
    According to the Journal of Insect Conservation and Diversity, published in 2012, By Dr. Brower, PhD., and replicated in the Journal of Insect Conservation and Diversity, published in 2012, by Dr. Oberhauser , PhD., 90 % of Midwest milkweed has been destroyed inadvertently by glyphosate. A subsequent 80% of the Midwest monarch butterfly population has been decimated.
    According to a study published in Entropy, 2013 (3.), glyphosate is connected to gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. There are over 250 research articles cited in this review article.
    Medical research published in Chemical Research in Toxicology, shows glyphosate and glyphosate based herbicides, “interfere with key molecular mechanisms regulating early development in both Xenopus and chicken embryos, leading to congenital malformations… The phenotypes obtained after GBH treatments or injections of glyphosate alone are strikingly reminiscent of those observed as a consequence of an excess of RA signaling in vertebrates and humans,” exposed to aerial glyphosate and spraying (4.).
    An approximated 0.07368 parts per million (ppm) of herbicide glyphosate were found in Canadian non-pregnant women’s blood. These women live in cities away from farms. Worst of all, trace amounts, 0.00014 ppm, of the corn’s GE bacterial insecticide, Bt-Cry1Ab, were found in the fetuses of Canadian pregnant women, according to Reproductive Toxicology, published in 2011 (5.). This is the area of highest danger in Monsanto’s flawed paradigm: damage to the human fetus and/or fetal DNA mutations from exposure to Monsanto’s herbicides and insecticides.
    The study which was extracted has incredible statistical analyses, useful for teaching fast track high school seniors destined for DNA research: multivariate analysis, principal component analysis (PCA), partial least- squares to latent structures (PLS), and orthogonal PLS (OPLS). This study should be reintroduced into Food and Chemical Toxicology, as a “blueprint” design for the benefit of humanity. A minimum 100 replications should be made by scientists like Dr. Seralini, who are not funded by biotech corporations, using the same design but especially with large rat samples, 100 to 1,000 per gender group.
    Digital PCR should be used in all US hospitals to precisely quantify how many of all of Monsanto’s copyright toxins are in human blood. Correlations and potential co-morbidity variables can thus be established, especially for pediatric illnesses. -Will Davis

  • Pit Boss

    There are zero long-term, controlled studies on humans. PERIOD. This article is garbage.

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

      There are zero long term controlled studies on humans on any food or chemical…not one. Obviously you have no understanding of testing methodologies. Essentially, what you are saying is that you reject the consensus view of the World Health Organisation and the National Academy of Sciences and every major independent science organization in the world…now that’s a firm platform to voice your views.

      • Pit Boss

        You’re right about foods, wrong about chemicals. That’s one of the ways GMOs have been able to slip by relatively unnoticed. But in my opinion they need to be studied much more extensively considering their application on society.

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

          GMOs have not “slipped by” anyone. No agricultural products in history have been more carefully and extensively studied, and to date there is not one health related incident–not so much as a sniffle–linked to the consumption of foods whose ingredients have been modified by genetic engineering. Contrast that with the thousands of deaths linked to the consumption or organic foods, where oversight is almost nonexistent.

          And I repeat: there has been no–not one–long term controlled study on humans on any food or chemical. Too many variables; the data would be useless and the exercise unethical.

          • Pit Boss

            It would be very easy to accomplish this in a prison setting.

          • Martin Gumbo

            use the prisoners as test subjects ???…have you NO ethics ?

          • Pit Boss

            Please tell me you’re being sarcastic. If not you’ve just summed up why biotech giants are run by sociopaths and why supporters are almost as bad.

          • Martin Gumbo

            “it would be very easy to accomplish this in a prison setting”….unless I am misunderstanding this , it seems like you are suggesting the use of prisoners to be the test subjects to determine the safety of GM foods. It is you whom we hope is being sarcastic.

          • Pit Boss

            Well considering that the general public is currently being used as the test subjects, I fail to see how using prisoners is any more unethical.

          • Cindy Koch

            No, we’ll just use all the children in the world as test rats! The government has no ethics in my opinion.

    • http://ultimateglutenfree.com/ Peter Olins

      Hi Pit Boss. I understand where you’re coming from, but it’s almost impossible to think of how to do such a study, even if you wanted to. You would need to have hundreds of closely-matched people, for a period of years, all eating EXACTLY the same food, with the only difference being the food source.

      Even for a SHORT-TERM safety study, the only ethical study is for drugs that have the potential benefit of treating a disease: it’s not ethical to deliberately give people substances that you believe will be toxic. For example, even though we know that lead is toxic to animals, we cannot test how toxic it is in humans.

      Even if you could do such a study, what would you test for? There are literally hundreds of possible changes in the human body, many of which would only show up after autopsy. I, personally, do not support the idea of hundreds of dead bodies on an autopsy slab, looking for changes that we have no reason to expect to occur, based on our prior knowledge.

      Finally, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of compounds in foods that we already know are toxic in test animals at HIGH doses. Are you advocating that we ban mustard or carrots until we have long-term human safety studies on these, too?

      • Bruce

        We have been eating those food like mustard for millennium, so we feel we don’t need to test them. But now we know some people can’t eat some foods due to allergies. No we didn’t advocate a ban, but we did get labelling, which is what the public are asking for with GM. The refusal of which is creating the primary barrier to consumption, through the perception of the removal of people’s choice.

        The second barrier is the failure of anyone to prove to the consumer that these new unique foods are safe, and its a crop by crop decision, no matter how little difference the modification makes to the end product. It may be a minor, but it is a distinct difference, due largely to the extent this was proclaimed when GM was first marketed. We got that it was new, but not now that some are trying to forced us to eat it.

        In the face of a change. we tend to rely on what we know, until the new is proven safe. The alternative is to blindly accept something in the knowledge it may harm us.

        If we make a major food crop toxic to humans, that would be a tragedy, and the death-knell of any company that produced the seed. Caution is due.

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

          Bruce, no food can be “proven” safe. Any food has the potential to harm someone dependent upon their individual biology. Labeling a food as “GM” or “organic” provides no scientific information as to potential safety of any individual food. For a label to be meaningful, every single food, regardless of how it was grown or what seeds were used, would have to least every single protein and also how each of those proteins could interact with each other. That’s impossible to do. Short of that, labeling as is being discussed…saying something is GMO or not…is both useless and deceptive. It conveys no actionable information from a science or medical point of view.

  • http://hoshikogen.tumblr.com/ Genevieve

    This is moderately interesting to me. What about the studies with the rats in France that got huge tumours after being fed GMO corn? Or this: http://sustainablepulse.com/wp-content/uploads/ENSSER_Statement_no_scientific_consensus_on_GMO_safety_ENG_LV.pdf

    ???

    Maybe if the GM companies weren’t acting in a way that causes mass public distrust then we the people would be more willing to hear what they have to say….

  • foreignerph

    You can’t prove safety of modified food, you can only fail to prove it’s unsafe. These studies are short-term. That means probably that 99% of the mice didn’t die eating the stuff. What it means for humans over a life-span of 80 years, and/or in the next generation, who knows? It took quite a while, from the bonfires of our ancestors till 30 years ago when it was found by epidemiological studies that charcoaled food enhances the risk of cancer.

    Natural adaptation to novel molecules in food takes many generations. One of the most recent was lactose-tolerance. People that died from lactose-intolerance while switching to dairy products have been eliminated from the gene pool, guided by natural selection over thousands of years. Are the Genetic Modifiers counting on the same selection mechanism perhaps?

    But let’s assume 99 or even 99.9% of the mice didn’t die in all these studies, probably sponsored by the same companies that have invested a lot in GGOs. Wouldn’t there be a perk for clinicians in favorable studies? Would studies be included that yielded less favorable results? If not, that would be amazing since it’s common practice in clinical trials of drugs.

    Drugs, however, are life-saving, even if not all the side-effects have been accounted for yet when they are released. Modified food isn’t necessary at all, we don’t need it. So why not err on the safe side and just stick to natural food that has been around for many thousands of years? Or will we at least have the choice by clear labeling of the stuff? Currently, the Modifiers are lobbying intensively to avoid any labeling, for instance in the EU.

    Will GGOs reduce hunger and poverty by higher yield? I’ve lived for some years in a very “poor” area, median income 2$/day/family. Nobody was hungry there, reverting to subsistence farming and cattle-raising in a natural way. They might need more land to grow natural products instead of GGOs, but that’s how it always has been and why should they change to something that risks to be a poison in the long run?

    Consumer food GGOs are not about any scientific advance. They are just about more money for the Modifiers.

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

      Your post makes no scientific sense. You can say the exact same thing about our entire food supply. Almost every grain, fruit and vegetable has been modified, in an accelerating rate, over centuries, but mostly in recent decades. Novel combinations of genes have been created. Moreover, mutagenesis–dousing seeds with radiation and chemicals, which can result in organic grains, fruits and vegetables (eg: organic ruby red grapefruits) have created thousands–about 3,000+–new novel foods in the past four decades. None has been tested, and by your ‘theory’ should be evaluated over many generations and could well result in health problems. Of course your ‘theory’, from a science perspective, is total bull. (and your charcoal analogy ridiculous). Our bodies are adapted to deal with many changes in the environment, including barrages of bacteria which assault us every day…so the entire thesis is silly. And in fact, GMOs are precisely evaluated and tested…unlike the ‘mutated’ foods we eat every day, including 95% of your daily diet. Please, take a genetics 101 course….

      • Pit Boss

        Nice red herring. He’s 100% correct. There is no effort in the biotech community to prove safety over time. They can, but apparently don’t have to so they don’t. We’re consuming things that our bodies are rejecting, but since there are no long-term controlled studies they can claim “everything is safe” and proceed to call you an anti-science monster if you dare question the path we’re on. Biotech has proven itself to be nothing but a whole lot of empty promises disguised as science.

        Perfect example: Nutrasweet (aspartame). Monsanto’s miracle sweetener that’s 100% safe. At least, that’s what they said when they released it in the 80s. The FDA approved it with no problem, just like they do with every new GM crop. Do a search for aspartame side effects and see what science thinks of this stuff now, 30 years later.

        You don’t hear much about this, because big ag’s money keeps it from getting out. They have a long history of threatening news stations with lawsuits when they dare attempt to investigate one of their products.

        You sure seem to have some scummy friends.

  • Howard Gilbraith

    Regardless of the merits of GMO’s, the industrial farming system is inherently unsustainable and destructive to the environment. Arguing for the safety of a technology, while its implementation does more damage than it solves, is pretty fruitless.

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

      Howard, you can argue that the “industrial farming system is inherently unsustainable” or that “technology…does more damage that it solves”, but those are minority views among sustainability experts, farmers and economists, including organic farmers, who heavily rely on advanced technology (have you ever been to a medium or large scale organic farm?). What is clearly unsustainable is organic/small scale farming. It’s less productive, eats up resources and results in gobbling up of land as food demand skyrockets–it’s a direct path to global food insecurity. I recommend, for example, that you read a well known progressives take on this issue, “The Infinite Resources” by Ramez Naam.

  • Jaime

    Anyone who agrees gmos are safe… hahahahah in your face … I rather not be a Monsanto lab rat thank you very much… Lolol Bann Gmos Im signing every petition out there to ban gmo in The Usa

  • Michael Cooper

    Thank you, JoAnna Wendel, for this article. It has been very useful for pointing people claiming this hasn’t been studied to one place where they can see a summary.