Fourat Janabi discusses his transformation from anti-GMO activist to supporter of GMOs


Fourat Janabi, author of “Random Rationality: a Rational Guide to an Irrational World,” sat down with Green State TV to discuss how he changed his views on GMOs. Previously an anti-GMO activist, Janabi started to rethink his views when he read Ray Kurzweil’s “The Singularity is Near,” in which Kurzweil talks about “the dangers of not accepting technology.” Further research into Golden Rice and writings by Kevin Folta, interim chairman the University of Florida’s horticulture program, further solidified the notion that GMOs are not dangerous for human health and are in fact beneficial.

People’s lives are hanging in the balance. You know, it’s nice and easy when we are here in the West and we’re well-fed, but there are starving people in Africa and Southeast Asia. A billion people go to sleep hungry every single night. Sixteen million of those die in a year, nine million of those are kids. Genetically modified food, which is just as safe as conventional food, can help them.

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  • Vic Shorrocks

    Well said. The more people that have the courage to stand up and say how they have been unthinkingly swept along by the anti- GM hysteria as Fourat Janabai says the better.

  • Charles Rader

    Mr. Janabi is from Italy. I wonder if he has any comment about the Italian corn experience of 2012, a startling case of the difference between GMO corn and conventional corn.

    There is a fungus called fumonisin that can infect corn that has been too stressed by insect damage. It produces a deadly toxin. Corn is tested for this and not used if the fumonisin content is too high. Last year, a large part of the Italian corn crop was so heavily contaminated by fumonisin that it could not be used as an animal food. Italy’s Ag. minister, who is very hostile to GMO corn, nevertheless proposed that Bt corn, available from the US, be mixed in with the Italian corn so the fumonisin content would be diluted and the average level reduced to just below the allowable standard. He didn’t realize that this would require so much GMO corn that there would be ten times more than the Italian pig farmers would buy. And so, for one year only, he authorized importing the banned GMO corn for animal food, and directed the fumonisin contaminated non-GMO corn be fermented to produce ethanol.

    After that event, it is incredible that anyone in Italy would believe the anti-GMO propaganda.

  • Phil

    In thinking about GMO-safety, you should not worry about starving people or the prices or how vile things GMO companies have done- You just think about the biological effects of them on animals (physiological, cellular, etc) and the environment (game theory, diversity etc). Show me unbiased and independent research that show GMOs are safe. Again, ones by researchers with no-GMO ties. Again, not focusing on no-health issues- it is a question of safety. I think Janibi failed on this count.