Vegans and vegetarians embrace simplistic anti-GMO propaganda, eschew debate, at Canadian expo

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Kevin M. Folta, who describes himself as “a scientist in a scientifically illiterate nation at a time when we need science the most,” has a blog post up that’s pretty snarky but makes an important point: vegans/vegetarians should ground themselves in scientific reality. The bee in Folta’s bonnet is the anti-GMO focus dominating this year’s VegExpo in Vancouver (scheduled for June 8).

Let it be said that there are serious problems with GMOs, many of them involving their ownership and application. But, for all their drawbacks, there’s no credible evidence that they are any more or less harmful to human health (or the environment) than conventional hybrids.

It’s thus a shame that the Vancouver veg folks invited nine people (only one with a scientific background) who seem poised to spread misleading if not erroneous messages about the supposed negative health impacts of GMOs.

Worse, not a single speaker has the proper qualifications to make authoritative claims about GMOs. What does it say about the Veg outlook on scientific credibility when, in an attempt to explain how Canadians are affected by GMOs, the organizers have invited a Joga instructor (yes, that’s Joga, not yoga), the owner of Hippie Foods (who has a financial interest in castigating GMOs), an entertainment reporter, a snack mix purveyor, a 14-year old, a vegan fitness expert, and, Jeffrey Smith, a former practitioner of “flying yoga” who now poses under the guise of the  Institute for Responsible Technology (and who has been called out by real scientists as an imposter)?

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Every vegan and vegetarian is poorly represented by this agenda. Folta writes, “I think the veg/vegans do deserve better.  I applaud their efforts and choices, I’m just sad that they are destroying their scientific persuasion and credibility by sponsoring people that know nothing about science and farming.”

I think he’s right.

Read the full, original article: Scientific Credibility and the Veggie Agenda

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