The Op-Ed of Feb. 18 by Morgan Ostler is full of misleading information, the hallmark of the anti-GMO (or genetically engineered, GE) movement.
The ban on GE crops in Europe was struck down by their highest court for “lack of evidence of harm to humans or the environment.”
France recently tried to reinstate it but their senate rejected the new law for the same reasons.
Critics of GE crops and derived food claim food safety concerns but have not been able to find a single documented case of harm after almost 20 years of commercial GE crops and over three trillion meals containing ingredients from these crops.
The World Health Organization 2013 document-Twenty Questions on GMO’s is clear when they say:
“GM foods currently available on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.” – WHO 2013
In 2012, Richmond City Council decided they wanted to ban GE crops from their municipality. They asked the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority for an opinion of GE crops and derived food. This was the response:
“There is no evidence that Health Canada approved GE foods and food crops are any less safe for human health than non-GE varieties.
“There is no public health reason for a ban on genetically engineered trees, plants and crops as proposed by the resolution to Council.” – VCHA 2012
The American Association for the Advancement of Science said it well:
“Moreover, the AAAS Board said, the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and ‘every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques.’” – (AAAS 2012)
The average person is not trained in the sciences involved with GE crops and is unable to differentiate between the real science and the prolific pseudo-science that is designed to scare not educate.
Critics of GE crops reject global science and continually bring forward activist literature as evidence of harm from GE crops and derived food.
GMO Myths and Truths is an excellent example of the pseudo-science.
World experts are not fooled.
Campbell River Council should pay attention to the overwhelming scientific opinion on the safety of GE crops and food as public policy based on pseudo-science and resulting fear is bad public policy.
Robert Wager M.Sc., B.Sc.
Vancouver Island University