Originally Published: March 6, 2018 6 a.m.
In recent weeks, the Courier has published two letters regarding the dangers of genetically modified foods. There is a lot of quackery and pseudo-science around this subject with most regulatory agencies clearly stating that GM foods are safe.
In the U.S., we have been eating GM foods for a century without negative effects. Several European countries have banned GM foods mainly as a political concession to Green parties to join governing coalitions. The sad consequence of this is that African farmers do not use GM seeds for fear of being unable to export to these countries. Their crops continue to be greatly diminished by diseases and pests.
Readers should be aware of a 2014 meta-analysis of the entire scientific literature regarding the impacts of GM foods by several European scientists not affiliated with governments, companies, etc.
A headline in The Economist magazine of Nov. 8, 2014, that reported on the study states, “The biggest study so far finds that GM crops have large, widespread benefits.”
GM seeds require FDA, EPA and USDA approvals. Pharmaceuticals require only FDA approval. Enhanced nutrition and productivity are a given. Less chemical use and much less land under cultivation are obvious benefits. If GMO’s disappeared tomorrow, it is estimated that an additional 300 million acres of land would be needed to make up the difference in productivity.
Robert “Bozo” MacGinty