Originally Published: February 27, 2018 6 a.m.
People can have legitimate difference of opinion about genetically modified foods (GMO). What they cannot do, if they are discussing science, is to misrepresent the facts. Recently a letter from Ms. Dorothy Moore (“Our health,” Jan. 16) misrepresented the science about GMOs.
The study she referred to (de Vendômois JS, Roullier F, Cellier D, Séralini GE., 2012) was retracted because it lacked statistical power and contained errors in data collection.
The publisher admitted it should have never have been published. Since then no scientific study has been able to duplicate their results.
The National Institutes of Health reviewed all the science and determined there is no evidence that current GMO crops cause harm. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3615871/.
A Pew Research poll of scientists and the public compared the difference between the two groups’ views on a number of scientific topics. On the question of GMOs, 88 percent of scientists considered them safe while only 37 percent of the public shared that view – a difference of 51 percent, the highest in the poll.
What is troubling is in the poll 79 percent of the public held science in high regard, even though on a number of topics they differed from the scientific consensus.
Part of the blame for this paradox are letters such as Ms. Moore’s which, though well-meaning, present false data.
The internet is a wonderful tool. It has made scientific studies available to everyone. One downside is many people don’t know how to interpret these studies.