Thursday, July 10, 2014

"GMO Crops (or Frankenfoods): Something to Fear?"

There's a food fight going on regarding the pros and cons of eating GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

What's that, you ask?

Scientists add genes to corn, soy beans and other crops to protect the plant from insects (among other things) and claim the practice is perfectly safe.

In fact, without it, our food supply would be unstable and much more expensive, say the proponents.

But the contrarians are worried sick that GMOs pose a threat to our health, and claim a link to depression, allergies, infertility, and even the big C--cancer

No way, say the pros. GMOs have been in our food supply for 20 years now and no such link exists. And besides, farmers have been altering crops for centuries.

So, who's right? With 75% of consumers concerned about the safety of GMOs, and 91% preferring to avoid GMOs if given the choice (according to Dr. Oz), let's see if we can boil down the facts.

Food for thought:

  • The cons cite a report that appeared last year in Food and Chemical Toxicology that rats developed tumors after eating GMOs for 2 years
  • The pros immediately jumped on the study as 'slanted' and scientists agreed. The report was later retracted as untrue by the journal.
  • Food science professor, Ruth MacDonald cites hundred of other studies that have found GMOs as safe as non-GMOs.
  • State Senator David Zuckeman of Vermont claims, "As consumers, we are guinea pigs, because we really don't understand the ramifications.
  • Not true say biologists. GMOs have been studied intensively and found benign.
  • The cons say GMOs are too new for us to know if they are dangerous.
  • Popular Science tells us genetically-engineered plants first appeared in labs about 30 years ago and became a commercial product in 1994. Since then, over 1,700 peer-reviewed studies vouch for their safety.
  • Contrarians claims farmers can't re-plant GMO seeds.
  • The facts? Farmers do sign agreements that prohibit re-planting in order to ensure annual sales, but large-scale commercial growers typically don't bother to save seeds anyway. "The quality deteriorates," says plant scientist Kent Bradford. "They get weeds and so on--and it's not a profitable practice."
  • All research on GMOs has been funded by big-Ag, claim the cons.
  • "Simply not true," says Popular Science. "Hundreds of independent researchers have published peer-reviewed safety studies. At least a dozen medical and scientific groups worldwide, including the World Health Organization and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, have stated that GMOs currently approved for market are safe."
The scientific consensus? GMOs are no more or no less risky that conventional crops.

Chew on that for a minute and then consider a compromise: labelling. Although that opens another whole can of worms and promises to bite us in the wallet, maybe it'll finally put an end to the food fight...but don't hold your breath. Something tells us that labelling won't cut the mustard either.

A wise man once said: "Facts are God's arguments; we should be careful never to misunderstand or pervert them." --Tryon Edwards, American theologian

"...the bread from heaven gives eternal life to everyone who eats it. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will lives forever..." (John 6:50-51).

  • The Times of Israel: IDF preps for ground strike, military source says. After massing soldiers on border, army said to be about to enter Gaza.
  • CBS: Chip implanted under woman's skin could deliver birth control for up to 16 years.
  • Weather Channel: Freak polar vortex arrives in mid-west in mid-July.

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