Saturday, January 04, 2014

from "Farmers Wary of GMO Crops," The Zimbabwean

I continue to be wary of the long-term health effects of some GMO crops, and the use of the poor, uneducated, and/or malnourished as guinea pigs plus the predatory practices of big BioAg doesn't put me any closer to being on the thumbs-up path; however, in the interest of education, this was a good read.

A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops

Of course, I am looking for answers myself, and thus really try to check my skepticism, but this did stand out to me:

...the risk of [GMO crops] could be reliably tested, and had so far proved safe. "With scientists, we never say anything is 100 percent certain one way or another," Dr. Suzuki said. "We weigh conclusions on accumulated knowledge or evidence..." 

Yes, absolutely. But, the big BUT:  Like organic and conventional dairy and vegetables being deemed equal in nutritional profiles just a few years ago, or the scientific claim that thalidomide wouldn't cross the placental barrier, accumulated scientific knowledge sometimes goes horribly wrong. GMO crops should not be rushed to market or be allowed to propagate and be sold while in litigation, and should also be subject to litigation should there be health problems clearly associated with them; they should also submit to continual testing and monitoring once they are in the market (for now), and the patent holders/users be okay with informing the public with labeling so people have a choice.

I'm not one for a nanny state, but this should be the standard when we screw with the basic building blocks of life, especially ones that have the potential to have profound effects on the population.

There are so many promising things in GMOs, so I really hope I'm wrong, but we have to slow. down.

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