30 May 2016 - Will It Ever Be Over?

Will it ever be over is a question I asked recently on my radio-television programs. After reading angry passionate e-mails from my city listeners and some organic producers, I have to answer the question by saying No! The question deals with the GMO labeling issue and the safety of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) or GE (Genetically Engineered) foods in our diet.

You know where I stand on this issue. I share Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s belief that mandatory labeling is only necessary when there is danger. Now, there is yet another scientific study that says there is no danger when consuming food containing GMO ingredients.

The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine is one of the nation’s premiere scientific bodies, and after reviewing more than 900 studies found NO evidence of adverse human health effects after 20 years of producing GMO crops.

Let me share with you the statement by Committee Chair, Fred Gould, Distinguished Professor of Entomology at North Caroline State University . . . ”The Committee focused on listening carefully and responding thoughtfully to members of the public who have concerns about GE crops and foods, as well as those who feel that there are great benefits to be had from GE crops.”

Then read this statement carefully . . . ”Studies with animals, and research on the chemical composition of GE foods currently on the market, reveal no differences that would implicate a higher risk to human health and safety than from eating their non-GE counterparts. Though long-term studies have not directly addressed long-term GE food consumption, available data do not show associations between any disease or chronic conditions, and the consumption of GE foods.”

It didn’t take long for anti-GMO advocacy groups to respond. Food and Water Watch issued a statement that accused many of the Science Committee members of having worked with Monsanto or other companies with an interest in GMO use over the years.

Agricultural producers and groups hailed the report. American Soybean Association President, Richard Wilkins said “Today, the National Academy of Sciences reaffirmed what health and safety officials have confirmed for two decades - GMO’s are safe. We hope the report will move the dialogue on GMO’s to the next chapter. Amen to that. Who are you going to believe . . . an anonymous blogger or science? I know who I believe.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.