The International Scientific Consensus On Genetically Engineered Food Safety

The term Scientific consensus is, by definition, an evidence-based consensus. It does not necessarily refer to 100% unanimity among all human beings, nor even among 100% of people trained in science. Rather, it refers to a consilience of scientific evidence upon which an overwhelming majority of scientists (whose areas of expertise are most pertinent) concede to what the evidence is showing.

It does not mean that every single nuance of every tangentially related question is known with absolute certainty. It just means that no credible reason remains for denying the implications of the evidence with respect to the bigger picture.

Many areas for which there is strong scientific consensus continue to be controversial topics among laypeople (i.e. GMO safety, vaccine efficacy and safety, evolution, Anthropogenic Global Warming, water fluoridation etc), but this is due almost exclusively to a combination of a lack of sufficient competence at evaluating the veracity and meaning of information related to a particular scientific field, and/or motivated reasoning rooted in staunch ideological opposition to something about the particular field of study and its findings. The Skeptical Raptor  explains the concept of scientific consensus in more detail here.

When we speak specifically of the scientific consensus with respect to the safety of Genetically Engineered Foods, which have had the misfortune of being stuck with the semantically misleading colloquial term of “Genetically Modified Organisms” (or just GMOs for short), we’re actually making two different claims:

1) All the currently approved commercially available crops that have been brought about via modern molecular genetic engineering techniques are at least as safe to consume (and are at least as safe for the environment) as their corresponding non-GE counterparts.

2) There is nothing about the process of modern genetic engineering that makes unpredicted dangers any more intrinsically likely than would be the case with other methods of altering an organism’s genome (I.e. Selective breeding radiation mutagenesis, polyploidy or wide cross hybridization). 

I can go into greater depth on point two in a later post, but insofar as point one is concerned, there is a formidable body of evidence to corroborate that conclusion, and an international scientific consensus based on it. Let’s take an overview of the evidence for this.

According to this assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: a literature review.

“Results from all the 24 studies do not suggest any health hazards and, in general, there were no statistically significant differences within parameters observed. However, some small differences were observed, though these fell within the normal variation range of the considered parameter and thus had no biological or toxicological significance. If required, a 90-day feeding study performed in rodents, according to the OECD Test Guideline, is generally considered sufficient in order to evaluate the health effects of GM feed. The studies reviewed present evidence to show that GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed.”

Here is an overview of the last 10 years of genetically engineered crop safety research, which incorporated nearly 1,800 studies into its analysis. The authors concluded the following:

“We have reviewed the scientific literature on GE crop safety for the last 10 years that catches the scientific consensus matured since GE plants became widely cultivated worldwide, and we can conclude that the scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazard directly connected with the use of GM crops.”

The authors also acknowledge the discrepancy between the prevalent scientific viewpoint and public perception, and thus suggest the following:

“An improvement in the efficacy of scientific communication could have a significant impact on the future of agricultural GE. Our collection of scientific records is available to researchers, communicators and teachers at all levels to help create an informed, balanced public perception on the important issue of GE use in agriculture.”

I can’t argue with that.

This study on Unintended Compositional Changes in Genetically Modified (GM) Crops: 20 Years of Research came to the following conclusion:

“It is concluded that suspect unintended compositional effects that could be caused by genetic modification have not materialized on the basis of this substantial literature. Hence, compositional equivalence studies uniquely required for GM crops may no longer be justified on the basis of scientific uncertainty.”

Here is a 100 Billion animal study with trillions of data points incorporating nearly 29 years of data (both prior to the introduction of GE foods and since) on the prevalence and impacts of genetically engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations. It did not reveal any unfavorable or perturbed trends in animal health or productivity.

Genera is a database with around 400 studies.
It’s only a fraction of the total number of studies that have been done on various aspects of GM crops. There are closer to 2,000 studies (at least) that exist, so the database is still a work in progress, but I like this database because it makes it easy to search by author, by document type, by funding type, by funding source, by subject matter under study, by crop trait, by date, by whether or not it’s open access, by publication status, by journal or a whole bunch of other search options.

Moreover, here are statements from independent national and international scientific bodies demonstrating the overwhelming international scientific consensus:

American Association for the Advancement of Science submitted the following:

”The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.”

This statement is from the American Medical Association:

”There is no scientific justification for special labeling of genetically modified foods. Bioengineered foods have been consumed for close to 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature.”

Here is the World Health Organization’s position:

”No effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of GM foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.”

Although they have not declared an official position, the authors of this paper by The Royal Society of Medicine concluded the following:

”Foods derived from GM crops have been consumed by hundreds of millions of people across the world for more than 15 years, with no reported ill effects (or legal cases related to human health), despite many of the consumers coming from that most litigious of countries, the USA.”

The American Council on Science and Health submitted the following:

”[W]ith the continuing accumulation of evidence of safety and efficiency, and the complete absence of any evidence of harm to the public or the environment, more and more consumers are becoming as comfortable with agricultural biotechnology as they are with medical biotechnology.”

This statement was by the American Phytopathological Society:

”The American Phytopathological Society (APS), which represents approximately 5,000 scientists who work with plant pathogens, the diseases they cause, and ways of controlling them, supports biotechnology as a means for improving plant health, food safety, and sustainable growth in plant productivity.”

The American Society for Cell Biology takes the following position:

”Far from presenting a threat to the public health, GM crops in many cases improve it. The ASCB vigorously supports research and development in the area of genetically engineered organisms, including the development of genetically modified (GM) crop plants.”

This statement is from the American Society for Microbiology:

”The ASM is not aware of any acceptable evidence that food produced with biotechnology and subject to FDA oversight constitutes high risk or is unsafe. We are sufficiently convinced to assure the public that plant varieties and products created with biotechnology have the potential of improved nutrition, better taste and longer shelf-life.”

The American Society of Plant Biologists had this to say:

”The risks of unintended consequences of this type of gene transfer are comparable to the random mixing of genes that occurs during classical breeding. The ASPB believes strongly that, with continued responsible regulation and oversight, GE will bring many significant health and environmental benefits to the world and its people.”

The International Seed Federation issued this statement:

”The development of GM crops has benefited farmers, consumers and the environment… Today, data shows that GM crops and foods are as safe as their conventional counterparts: millions of hectares worldwide have been cultivated with GM crops and billions of people have eaten GM foods without any documented harmful effect on human health or the environment.”

Here’s one from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology:

”Over the last decade, 8.5 million farmers have grown transgenic varieties of crops on more than 1 billion acres of farmland in 17 countries. These crops have been consumed by humans and animals in most countries. Transgenic crops on the market today are as safe to eat as their conventional counterparts, and likely more so given the greater regulatory scrutiny to which they are exposed.”

Here’s one from the Crop Science Society of America:

”The Crop Science Society of America supports education and research in all aspects of crop production, including the judicious application of biotechnology.”

The National Academy of Sciences said this:

“The introduction of GE crops has reduced pesticide use or the toxicity of pesticides used on fields where soybean, corn, and cotton are grown. Available evidence indicates that no-till practices and HR crops are complementary, and each has encouraged the other’s adoption. Conservation tillage, especially no-till, reduces soil erosion and can improve soil quality. The pesticide shifts and increase in conservation till-age with GE crops have generally benefited farmers who adopted them so far. Conservation tillage practices can also improve water quality by reducing the volume of runoff from farms into surface water, thereby reducing sedimentation and contamination from farm chemicals.”

The International Society of African Scientists made the following statement:

”Africa and the Caribbean cannot afford to be left further behind in acquiring the uses and benefits of this new agricultural revolution.”

The Federation of Animal Science Societies stated the following:

”Meat, milk and eggs from livestock and poultry consuming biotech feeds are safe for human consumption.”

The Society for In Vitro Biology said this:

”The SIVB supports the current science-based approach for the evaluation and regulation of genetically engineered crops. The SIVB supports the need for easy public access to available information on the safety of genetically modified crop products. In addition, the SIVB feels that foods from genetically modified crops, which are determined to be substantially equivalent to those made from crops, do not require mandatory labeling.”

The Society of Toxicology had the following to say:

“Scientific analysis indicates that the process of BD (Biotechnology-Derived) food production is unlikely to lead to hazards of a different nature from those already familiar to toxicologists. The safety of current BD foods, compared with their conventional counterparts, can be assessed with reasonable certainty using established and accepted methods of analytical, nutritional, and toxicological research.”

Transgenic Plants and World Agriculture – Prepared by the Royal Society of London, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Science Academy, the Mexican Academy of Sciences, and the Third World Academy of Sciences:

“Foods can be produced through the use of GM technology that are more nutritious, stable in storage, and in principle health promoting – bringing benefits to consumers in both industrialized and developing nations.”

There is  a pervasive myth that still lingers in anti-GMO circles (mostly in the US) that European scientists are more incredulous of GE food science than American scientists, that there exists some secret European science that nobody else has access to, and that this is the reason for some of the cultivation restrictions in certain European countries, but as this article explains (with direct references to official EU documents), this is not the case.

In fact, the EU themselves funded almost two decades of GMO research.

Although the commission has shied away from adopting an official position, their 18 year research project concluded the following:

“The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies.” (page 16).

And here is a further elaboration on the EU’s position, policies and procedures.

The Union of the German Academies of Science and Humanities Commission Green Biotechnology Inter-Academy Panel Initiative on Generically Modified Organisms Group of the International Workshop Berlin concluded the following:

“In summary, the evidence suggests it to be most unlikely that the consumption of the well-characterised transgenic DNA from approved GMO food harbours any recognisable health risk.”

And  this:

”Food derived from GM plants approved in the EU and the US poses no risks greater than those from the corresponding conventional food. On the contrary, in some cases food from GM plants appears to be superior with respect to health.”

French Academy of Science said the following:

“This analysis shows that all the criticisms against GMOs can be largely dismissed on strictly scientific criteria.”

The following is a consensus document on GMOs Safety from 14 Italian scientific societies.

In case you don’t read Italian, their concluding remarks translate to roughly the following:

“GMOs are regulated by a regulatory framework that is unmatched in the food industry and therefore they prove to be more controlled than any other food product.

All the analysis for food safety assessment must also be carried out before placing them on the market.

It is appropriate to focus the analysis not so much on the technology with which these plants are produced, but rather on genetic traits inserted, following a case-by case evaluation.

GMOs on the market today, having successfully passed all the tests and procedures necessary for authorization must, on the basis of current knowledge, be safe to use as human and animal food.”

Finally, the National Academies Press published this impressively comprehensive work on the Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States.

They evaluate each trait on its own individual merits and cover everything from food safety and environmental impact to biodiversity, gene flow between GE crops and weeds and non-GE crops, as well as crop yields, soil health and even economic and social repercussions. It’s rather spectacular actually, and probably worth bookmarking. A PDF copy is free on the condition that one creates an account on NAP (or at least signs in as a guest). If nothing else, at least check out their “key findings” (page 214) in which they state the following:

“The evidence shows that the planting of GE crops has largely resulted in less adverse or equivalent effects on the farm environment compared with the conventional non-GE systems that GE crops replaced. A key improvement has been the change to pesticide regimens that apply less pesticide or that use pesticides with lower toxicity to the environment but that have more consistent efficacy than conventional pesticide regimens used on non-GE versions of the crops. In the first phase of use, herbicide resistant (HR) crops have been associated with an increased use of conservation tillage, in particular no-till methods, that can improve water quality and enhance some soil-quality characteristics. That farmers who practice conservation tillage are more likely to adopt GE crops suggests the two technologies are complementary.”

In summary, there is an overwhelming international scientific consensus with regards to genetically engineered crops. The notion that “Big biotech bought off every study and credible scientific organization in the world” is the secular science-deniers’ version of “the devil put the fossils there to test our faith.”

Although some people may invent increasingly elaborate conspiracy narratives to dismiss the international scientific consensus as an illusion or a nefarious plot to deceive all the non-scientists, there is simply no credible evidence for this nor any plausible means by which a conspiracy of that scale could exist.

No, the RepShillian Shape-Shifters aren’t colluding with the Great Big PharMonSatan to control the intergalactic food supply and poison everyone for the Shilluminati Shadow Government’s depopulation operation for the NWO.

It’s time for a reality check.

BOOM!!!

Credible Hulk

image

Image via AxisMundiOnline.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
Bookmark the permalink.

46 Comments

  1. Who paid for this ?? Who paid for every section? Have these scientists or organizations ever received money from GMO corporations?

  2. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ pro-GMO position expired in 2012, and the ADA has had no position for or against GMO as of today. So the picture is misrepresentative.

  3. I agree with the studies but unfortunately you have forgotten to mentioned the very problematic notion of copyright on GMOs and situation of farmers who become dependent on companies in order to get grain. Not paying Monsanto = copyright infringement. Being a skeptic does not entail being a rightwing big buisness lover.
    Peace out

  4. Yawn. Yet another attempt to denigrate anyone who dares to not buy into the pro-GMO story by labelling them as conspiracy theorists using ridiculous fringe stereotypes. Your attempt to argue from authority is quite funny.

    • I don’t think you understand what an “argument from authority” actually is. The evidence is presented in the article. Dismissing it out of hand is not a rebuttal. It’s comments like these which serve to show any rational bystanders the degree of cognitive dissonance anti-biotech people can endure in the face of incontrovertible evidence, and how causally they dismiss evidence in favor of ideology. By and large, anti-GMO activists ARE conspiracy theorists. Not all of them, because some have simply been misinformed by aggressive anti-biotech smear campaigns, and they lack the patience and/or objectivity to look at the facts. And perhaps not necessarily “fringe” conspiracy theorists in all cases, because there are so many of them, but being greater in number than other conspiracy theorists doesn’t make their mentality any more rational or evidence-based. You need to own that, or else if you don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist, then you need to change your beliefs to fit the facts. Complaining to the messenger isn’t going to cut the mustard, Johnny.

      • That’s ok Creddy Hulky Baby…. You are allowed your opinion but your opinion does not a fact make. Everyone suffers from cognitive dissonance ( including you and me ). All evidence is refutable. It’s merely an exercise in doing what you just tried ( and failed ) to do to me. Go look up Ad hominem attacks…

        I didn’t actually attack your evidence….get your facts straight Hulky Baby… I attacked your boring and derivative tactic of characterising people who don’t agree as conspiracy theorists and fringe repshillian ones at that. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.

        Where are Your stats and references supporting your statements like “by and large, anti-GMO activists are conspiracy theorists”, “aggressive anti-biotech smear campaigns”, “they lack the patience”?

        Your opinion does not count if you wish to be Credible. Your prejudiced assumptions do not count either. Neither do the unattributed opinions of your unidentified and unpublished supposed farmer mates.

        Also, do try not to make assumptions about me…I deliberately haven’t stated my position on this favoured topic of yours.

        Not impressed so far with your attempts so far. It would be trivial for those you have tried to “smear” in you assumptive op-ed sections and responses to label you as a guilty of the sorts of things you accuse them of.

        • So, are you here to simply troll the author? Crying about ad hominem, but starting your comment with “yawn” and offering a condescending statement about the article reeks of troll baiting.

        • “That’s ok Creddy Hulky Baby…. You are allowed your opinion but your opinion does not a fact make.”

          – Apparently you don’t understand the difference between facts versus opinions either.

          “Everyone suffers from cognitive dissonance ( including you and me ).

          – Perhaps sometimes. However, cognitive dissonance has a short half life for me because I’ve cultivated a habit of proportion my views to fit the evidence, and altering them again when warranted. It’s just that evidence-free outrage from butthurt trolls isn’t very high up on the hierarchy of evidence.

          “All evidence is refutable.”

          – Not necessarily. In principle, interpretations of evidence can be overturned by additional evidence, but unless the evidence was simply made up out of thin air, or based on faulty measuring tools, then the evidence itself is not normally refuted. New explanatory frameworks have constraints on them. This is known as the correspondence principle. A new theory must reduce to agreement with the old theory for conditions under which the old one’s predictions agreed with experiment. I’ve explained this before here.

          “It’s merely an exercise in doing what you just tried ( and failed ) to do to me. Go look up Ad hominem attacks…”

          – See, this is why I have a pet peeve with people who have no understanding of formal logic simply memorizing the names of logical fallacies they don’t even understand well enough to tell where they do and where they don’t apply. It’s technically NOT an ad hominem logical fallacy unless the person uses the alleged unfavorable trait of the opponent as the REASON why their argument is false. That’s not what happened. What happened is I demonstrated an overwhelming international scientific consensus for GE food safety using credible evidence from some of the most respected scientific organizations in the world, along with systematic reviews and literally thousands of studies. The fact that I poked fun at conspiracy mongers at the end does not constitute an ad hominem logical fallacy.

          An ad hominem argument has the basic form:

          A makes claim X

          There is something objectionable about A

          Therefore X is false

          That’s not what happened here, so your complaint is invalid.
          Technically, I could blatantly insult someone and it wouldn’t diminish the strength of my argument in terms of the brute facts and logic (not that I would do that of course, nor is that what happened here). It might not be very nice, and it might tempt the opponent to bury his or her head in the sand and deny reality in the face of incontrovertible evidence, but it’s not fallacious unless it’s used as the REASON for dismissing the opponent’s position. So, apparently it’s YOU who ought to be looking up “ad hominem,” and not me.

          “I didn’t actually attack your evidence….get your facts straight Hulky Baby… ”

          – Well, that’s good, because that’s unlikely to have gone well for you.

          “I attacked your boring and derivative tactic of characterising people who don’t agree as conspiracy theorists and fringe repshillian ones at that. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.”

          – So you made it to the last paragraph before you got bored? Sweet!
          Sounds like a success to me!

          “Where are Your stats and references supporting your statements like “by and large, anti-GMO activists are conspiracy theorists”, “aggressive anti-biotech smear campaigns”, “they lack the patience”?”

          – Wow, so you’re REALLY out of the loop, aren’t you? Lol. For starters, let’s look at current events: namely, the despicable and disingenuous smear campaign against Dr. Kevin Folta, who has been a prominent public educator on agricultural science and biotechnology for several years. More on that here. This Slate article very thoroughly explains the sheer depth of the fraud and misrepresentation behind the anti-GMO movement. All of the following are examples of groups involved in active deliberate smear campaigns against the technology itself: Here, here, here and here.
          The main antagonists from many of these groups have ties to each other’s organizations, which you can read about here, and here. No wild speculation necessary. These affiliations are matters of public record. And what about Food Babe, Natural News and Joe Mercola, all of whom have snake oil to sell people and whose sales benefit by instilling unfounded fear in people?

          I’m involved in the public debate on this virtually every day and have yet to meet a single counter-exampled to my observation. It’s almost tautologous really. How would it even be possible to be anti-GMO without being misinformed, and/or ideologically driven and/or a conspiracy theorist? Explain to me that, and show me a counter-example and I’ll concede. However, if I was a betting man, I’d guess that you can’t.

          “Your opinion does not count if you wish to be Credible.”

          – Gosh! Well, I guess it’s a good thing I’ve got all the scientific evidence backing me up then. Or else I’d be in big trouble! (Not really, since then I’d just simply change my position to fit the facts like any rational human being would).

          Given the fact that the article was absolutely CHALK FULL of facts and references, whereas your comments have been nothing but whining and complaining with no valid counter-arguments whatsoever (let alone evidence), it is probably not my credibility that you should be worried about.

          “Your prejudiced assumptions do not count either. Neither do the unattributed opinions of your unidentified and unpublished supposed farmer mates.”

          – That’s fine. That’s what evidence and logical arguments are for. I’m not seeing anything related to any of those claims you made in my previous response to you. Are you just making stuff up now?

          “Also, do try not to make assumptions about me…I deliberately haven’t stated my position on this favoured topic of yours.”

          – I honestly didn’t even know you existed until you gave your unsolicited and unsupportable opinion here on my blog, and I’m perfectly fine with you keeping your position to yourself. I’m not sure where you got the impression that your position was important to me, or that I’d even remember your name for more than a couple of days.

          “Not impressed so far with your attempts so far.”

          – And I am not impressed with your amateur level tone-trolling and completely lack of substantive argument.

          “It would be trivial for those you have tried to “smear” in you assumptive op-ed sections and responses to label you as a guilty of the sorts of things you accuse them of.”

          – Oh, they do. Especially on Facebook. It’s just that it’s very easy to make accusations, but demonstrating them to be the case is much harder; especially when I’ve already rigged the game by siding with the facts to begin with. It’s actually rather entertaining watching them get destroyed by science in the comments sections on facebook (see for yourself).

          • Hulk’s Ego: 88 – Hulk’s Attention: 0

            You do rather keep missing the point that I’m not attacking your GMO evidence. AT ALL. I don’t need your Ego to repeat to me just how much pro-GMO evidence you gave in your very lengthy post. [ Shall I give your Ego the extra strokes it seems to need? There there! Stroke stroke! Stroke stroke! ]

            I am attacking your characterisations and some of your vain attempts at self-defence in the comments. They are derivative and unnecessary to your pro-GMO stance.

            “All evidence is refutable.”
            – Yes it is, you are simply not going deep enough but I understand why you can’t and it’s not my role to open your eyes on this. *Shrug*

            “Wow, so you’re REALLY out of the loop, aren’t you?”
            On GMO evidence: Absolutely – Don’t care about it. Not interested. No doubt you have quite thoroughly collected and curated your pro-GMO evidence. Well Done 🙂
            On Debating tactics and the broader PsyOp/Info War tactics: Definitely Not. Quite the opposite. Well read and informed and I’m not interested in your sneering attacks.
            On Psychology, Philosophy in general, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science: Well read and informed.

            “Ad Hominem”
            Do get it right. I wasn’t attacking your GMO story. Still not. And won’t be after this is done either. Get the context right at least.
            Your attempts to a) undermine me in order to refute what I have had to say and b) label any anti-GMO activist as a conspiracy theorist constitutes “Ad Hominen”.
            If you can’t see that then I believe cognitive dissonance was mentioned before … “Attacking the messenger” is a subdivision of the ad hominem logical fallacy.

            In terms of addressing my points you haven’t done particularly well.

            * ”by and large, anti-GMO activists are conspiracy theorists” — focusing on the “by and large” thats more of a generalisation by your ego than anything based on statistics. Also, given that there is unlikely (yes – assumption on my part) to be a centralised register at which people who consider themselves to be anti-GMO would sign up and self identify who would further self identify as activists who then state their respective positions on the matter with a consensus vote of some kind on then being made about whether they constitute a conspiracy theorist. It’s not a provable point. Your or another persons assumptions as to the statistics of them are irrelevant.
            * “aggressive anti-biotech smear campaigns” — Well done. You educated me further. [ However, given human nature and the quantities of money involved, if such campaigns exist on one side of an issue then it would be a safe assumption that such campaigns exist on both sides. ]
            * “they lack the patience” — Yet another generalisation. Could be true in some cases .. but for all ? Nah…

            My pet peeve: People who put themselves up on a psychological pedestal that feel the need to hitch themselves even higher by using sweeping generalisations and snide pre-emptive attacks to try to undermine all potential opposing commentary. As a consciously chosen stance its intellectually dishonest and as an unconscious one it speaks to a weak and fearful person terrified of opposition.

            I’ll politely ignore the chorus of fans and bow out of the discussion. I’ve made my points but as the proverb goes … “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”.

            🙂

          • You do realize that merely repeating incorrect claims after they were already successfully refuted isn’t a counter-argument, right? Were you not aware of the fact that all anyone has to do is scroll back up to my previous comment to see that your claims about ad hominem and all evidence being refutable were deconstructed, and that the evidence for attempts at concerted anti – biotech smear campaigns were painstakingly laid out for you with hyperlinks that you obviously didn’t even look at? Your entire visit here could be described as a combination of indignant whining and “nuh uh.” Seriously, get a life.

          • Okay I’m cocdninev. Let’s put it to action.

        • John Turner: “My facts are the real facts. Not because they are supported by the science, but because I feel their truthiness in my (unwittingly-GMO-fortified) bones.”

    • Could you point out the appeal to authority for me? I will happily concede that the closing paragraphs might be construed as a straw man but an appeal to authority I cannot find.

  5. Pingback: NeuroLogica Blog » Scientific Consensus and Corporate Influence

    • Thanks for the shoutout, Steve! (or hyperlink out I suppose would be more accurate). 😀
      I really liked your latest article. Sorry the post got trolled so hard on Facebook. I think that’s the most I’ve ever seen you reply back to a critical person in the comments.

  6. Hulk, if there is one thing I always enjoy about your articles, it’s that you never fail to provide EXHAUSTIVE references for further those willing to actually take the time and read deeper into the subject. And not just exhaustive, but highly relevant and from appropriate experts rather than self-proclaimed gurus. Excellent summary, as always, and keep up the good work!

  7. About halfway through the page, you have quoted “Giotechnology Inter-Academy Panel Initiative on Generically Modified Organisms Group of the International Workshop Berlin”. After a quick Google search it appears you meant “Biotechnology …”.

  8. I’m curious what the studies say about “roundup ready” seeds and plants, I am suspicious that some farmers may be tempted to use excessive amounts of roundup and that will be problematic.

    • Glyphosate resistant strains are among the products subsumed under the safety consensus. Moreover, although the rise in popularity of glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops in particular has coincided with an increase in the use of glyphosate, what critics invariably fail to mention is that its rise in popularity also coincided with the phasing out of other herbicides, most of which were significantly more toxic than glyphosate.

      It’s also important to understand that there actually are stringent procedures on introducing new agrochemicals, and on the manner, timing and quanties in which they can be implemented. Now days, every pesticide (whether man made or otherwise) has to undergo extensive testing on toxicity: (acute, chronic and subchronic), the former of which involves (among other things) the discovery of its LD50, the dose per unit mass at which half of the subjects will die of acute overdose, and the latter of which involves extensive multi-animal testing to find reference doses (RfD) using an experimentally derived quantity known as the toxological end point, or the No Observable Adverse Effect Limit (NOAEL), from which the EPA computes what they call “tolerances,” which are typically at least an order of magnitude or two lower than the lowest dose ever observed to have any observable effect in the most sensitive animals (that extra cushion is to account for variability in sensitivity across the population). If trace residues are found to exceed these tolerances, the food cannot be sold.

      It is also common to assess for carcinogenic potential, mutagenic and potential effects on fetal development.

      My experience is that most people are not taught about these standards and how they are accomplished, and thus it’s easy for them to imagine worse case scenarios because they don’t realize how tightly regulated things are now days.

    • It’s also worth mentioning their benefits on environmental impact via the facilitation of no-till or low-till farming approaches. For that, I refer you to the latest Brookes and Barfoot paper, which shows that GE crops have also helped cut greenhouse gas emissions due to farming by the equivalent of removing 12.4 million cars from the road, AND reduced the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) by 19.1%

      This was made possible in part by low-till or no-till farming practices facilitated by clever herbicide protocols made possible by herbicide tolerant crops.

      Abstract

      >This paper updates previous assessments of how crop biotechnology has changed the environmental impact of global agriculture. It focuses on the environmental impacts associated with changes in pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of GM crops since their first widespread commercial use in the mid 1990s. The adoption of GM insect resistant and herbicide tolerant technology has reduced pesticide spraying by 553 million kg (-8.6%) and, as a result, decreased the environmental impact associated with herbicide and insecticide use on these crops (as measured by the indicator the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ)) by 19.1%. The technology has also facilitated important cuts in fuel use and tillage changes, resulting in a significant reduction in the release of greenhouse gas emissions from the GM cropping area. In 2013, this was equivalent to removing 12.4 million cars from the roads.< I hope that helps.

  9. Pingback: 12 bad reasons for rejecting scientific studies | The Logic of Science

  10. The problem with the anti-biotech crowd is the “anti” part. If they were simply critical of biotech, they’d be capable of receiving and processing various points of view and developing informed opinions. Sadly, they’ve walled themselves off in a giant echo chamber of opinion where any evidence to the contrary is part of a massive conspiracy.

  11. Pingback: The new ‘is GM food safe?’ meme. | Gary Frewin

  12. Pingback: A Catalog of Information on GMOs, Monsanto, and Related Topics | Inside the Mind of Michael Kovich

  13. The “Food Babe” said GMO’s are bad, that’s good enough for me !!

    /End sarcasm

  14. Pingback: Er GMO en god ide? | ScienceBlog

  15. Pingback: Responses to Popular Anti-GMO Rhetoric - Welcome to Atheists Against Pseudoscientific Nonsense

  16. Pingback: NeuroLogica Blog » 8 Lies About GMOs

  17. The funny thing while you keep amassing statements of faceless organizations who very rarely take polemical stances (would love to hear what the actual scientists say, not many of them do dare speak like paid GMO militants, like you do, maybe because they understand there are a lot more thinks that aren’t settled than whether GMOs are good for your stomach), your discourse seems to rely more on sensationalism than reason (cf. “trillion data points” ooo, wow big number! that must mean something… like watching a flat-earther “exposing the truth”).

    It’s one thing debunking the charlatans and the pseudo-science on any given topic, and it’s off course a commendable thing. But it’s another thing to place yourself as fanatic militant for the use of GMOs, that has more political and economic interests than actual alimentary and even pretend that gives you some high moralizing grounds to push some particular group’s financial interests on something really needless and absolutely unsustainable (something you willingly ignore or downplay, while focusing on the easy part of beating up the charlatans).

    ie, it’s corporate whoring in a world striving to free it self from constantly getting deeper and deeper in its dependency from way too few entities that have amassed way too much power and wealth on the global scale.

    • Do you also consider people who debunk moon landing denialists to be “fanatics?” Are we supposed to sit here and pretend that there is even the slightest shred of merit to baseless positions? That would be the fallacy of false balance. You speak of the high number of data points as though sample size was somehow irrelevant to the reliability of a scientific conclusion.

      It’s amusing that you’d use the example of flat-earthers, since the fact is that your position is equivalently unscientific as the flat-earth truthers, which is why you weren’t able to come up with a single valid rebuttal to the piece. Your incredulity is not an argument, neither are your 100% evidence-free claims regarding the alleged unsustainability of the technology. I don’t give a shit about your anti-corporate ideology. It’s not an argument against science.

  18. Pingback: Why Country of Origin Labeling is not an argument for mandatory GMO labeling: – The Credible Hulk

  19. Pingback: Mandatory GMO Labeling Opposition: Not just for Shape-Shifting MonSatan Cyborg Super-Shills from the future – The Credible Hulk

  20. Where do the crackpots get it in their heads that Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash are capable of pulling off a conspiracy that needs at least hundreds of thousands of people?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *