Ok readers. It is time to come clean about something that is deeply troubling to me. I have read. I have learned. I have talked to a real scientist. I have even tried to get past the abstract and decipher scientific jargon in a report (epic fail). I have pondered. I have soul searched. I have changed.
Here it is: science is laughing at us.
I put the statement in bold and used it as a title for this post because I want it to be seen and known. Science sees us as a joke. The “us” I am referring to are the folks behind the anti-GMO movement. The movement is gaining momentum in the US right now and I have been solidly in the camp of banner waving followers but my views are starting to moderate because of what I am learning.
Let me be clear about one thing. By science, I do not mean the biotech industry or any industry. I do not mean Monsanto, DuPont, Dow or any of those huge corporations. I mean pure science for the purpose of science. The kind that is studied and practiced at institutions of higher learning where people get doctorates and do cutting edge research. Of course, industry may apply the research but what I’m getting at is that the science I’m talking about does not have a monetary agenda. It is not biased. If it were biased, it could not be science.
There is a great divide going on, between science and – let’s call it non-science. Oh sure, there has always been contention in this arena but today, this contention affects whole populations and the livelihood of individuals. It affects food, land and water. It affects politics, policies and very important decisions. Scientists are laughing at us – but they’re also crying because movements like this wield a lot of power and well meaning folks can, unbeknownst, do more harm than good.
Now I’ll get specific and to the point of this post. Scientific evidence, the real kind, the kind that is peer-reviewed and published in respectable journals does NOT show harm from eating genetically modified food. Let me repeat: SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE DOES NOT SHOW HARM FROM EATING GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD. Science tells us that the benefits outweigh the risks.
I can’t put it any simpler than that. I am not saying that there are not problems with the technology. There are many, as with any technology, and no one says it is perfect in its present state but the bottom line is, the genetic engineering of crops and eating food from those crops is not, in and of itself, unsafe, and we can push against it all we want but I promise you this – it is not going anywhere. Try to stop progress!
With this post, I begin a new series on Sleuth4Health. It will look at a whole other side of genetic engineering. I will back up the strong claims I made in the paragraphs above. I will provide evidence, real evidence, and will post conversations with a scientist, one who works directly with transgenics, is not a Monsanto employee and who cares about the earth and the future of mankind. I will post other information gleaned from various media and whatever else I can find. I will expose the problems with transgenics as well, but they will be based on evidence – not just someones’s ideas. I will learn right along with you all.
Does all this mean that I’m going to rush to the store and buy boxes of processed, GMO laden food? Certainly not! I will still eat organic, whole foods as often as possible. It is my choice to do that. And no doubt, my visceral response to GMOs will take a lot longer to change than my intellectual one. But I’m growing, learning and changing and that is always a good thing.
Why am I doing this? Have I gone over to the dark side? Well, I’m doing this because I have to if I want to look at myself in the mirror. I want to be a beacon of truth. I can not, in good conscience, continue to spread propaganda.
The tipping point for my “conversion” came from the recent corn report that went viral worldwide. The report was said to be independently conducted by a major food company at the request of a grower. (Read more here at ProfitProAg.com.) Originally circulated by the organization Moms Across America, the report claimed shocking differences between the nutritional value of conventional and GM corn and even claimed that GM corn was toxic. I remember first seeing the report and, truth be known, questioned its validity, but in my eagerness to be a good soldier for the movement, I immediately published it on my blog.
Well guess what? I got spanked by a scientist and you know, I deserved it. The report is bogus, and apparently, this would be apparent to any undergrad who passed organic chem 101. I will post more about why this report is bogus in the near future but for now you can revisit my post: (Nutrients in GMO Corn vs. non-GMO Corn), which I updated with correct information at a later date.
Bottom line: This is not a movement that I can take pride in belonging to anymore. I want to base my opinions on facts, not fallacies. I named my blog Sleuth4Health. Here is one definition for sleuth: to carry out a search or investigation in the manner of a detective. Well, that is what I am doing, will continue to do, and I don’t know where it will lead but I must follow the evidence, as any good inspector would do.
On the other hand, I’m still in full support of labeling – mandatory labeling, voluntary labeling, any kind of labeling (beyond what is currently available, which isn’t much). What I’d really like is real education for the masses on this topic so we may all know what is true and what is not and make the appropriate choices for ourselves and for our families.
And meanwhile, I am still very much committed to writing about and exposing real toxins – whether in our food, environment, or elsewhere. I will continue to post relevant information on that front.
I just don’t want to bark up the wrong tree.