Ok, today I really am going to post something pro-GMO, an interview between biologist and blogger Kevin Folta and blogger J. Fourat. It may aggravate some of you out there as it aggravated me when I read it, but I don’t want to be one of those ignoramuses that Folta loves to call out. I also know that an extreme approach to anything is a bad idea.
Let me post one excerpt that gets right to the point:
Fourat (Me) – What is the main thing (or is it general) about GMO’s that the public routinely confuse, or get wrong, when discussing and debating their impact?
Kevin Folta – There are so many misconceptions. The first is a fundamental one, that being that there is a debate at all. There is no debate among scientists in the discipline of plant molecular biology and crop science. Sure you can find someone here and there that disagrees, but there is no active debate in the literature driven by data. There are no hard reproducible data that indicate that transgenics are dangerous or more potentially dangerous than traditionally bred plant products.
I truly want to know what you think of Folta’s position, readers. He is fully credentialed and I did link to his University of Florida faculty page above. This interview would have anyone believe that anti-GMOers are luddites, lefty-wackos, uninformed and reactive anti-science fear mongers, but…
I am not that. I may not have a doctorate in science but I’m not stupid. And science can’t explain why I trust my gut on this issue.
Honestly, I have a right, we have a right, to question this technology. The plant biology and crop science, as far as I can see from this interview, anyway, doesn’t delve into the social and long term environmental implications of GE technology.
Below is my comment on the interview, which as of this writing is awaiting moderation.
To fully accept all GE technologies (for food) as “good” is fundamentally as ridiculous as saying it is all “bad”. Some questions I can’t escape are: What about the increase in birth defects and cancer in Argentinians who live near Roundup Ready soy farms? What about the marked increase of deadly food allergies in children? What about the Indian farmer suicides after their GMO crops fail? What about the massive bee and butterfly die off? What about the general health of Americans, the country that eats the most GM processed food? That is my short list, and all of these problems implicate GMOs at some level. If you want to call me an ignorant luddite, that’s fine. I gladly accept that title and am proud to stand by my concerns about GMOs and will not blindly say they are all “good” and have nothing to do with the aforementioned issues. There was a time we blindly accepted tobacco use too because the “science” said it was fine. I agree there are some anti-GMO wackos out there… but not everyone who questions the technology is a wacko.
I would also like to add that no scientist will ever convince me that eating beef from pent up cows fed GM corn and shot up with antibiotics is anywhere near as healthy as eating beef from a cow that roamed freely and ate what cows are supposed to eat – grass.
JuleeK@Sleuth4Health Takeaway: GMOs are complicated and no one science, no one point-of-view, no one paper, book, interview or article can address all of the global and far reaching implications of the technology. As we inch further into our future and these technologies take an even firmer hold, shouldn’t we be prudent?
If that statement makes me a member of the Luddite Club, then you probably saw my badge up top.