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Washington Post joins liberal pubs endorsing GMO safety, role feeding hungry, rejecting labels

June 3, 2014

Over the past year, the editorial boards of a number of major liberal US publications, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Oregonian, and Scientific American, have endorsed the safety of genetically modified crops, rebuked mandatory labeling of GMOs and criticized activists for using misinformation and scare tactics in anti-GMO campaigns. Now, the Washington Post weighs in on GMO safety and the potential of GM crops to help address global food security issues. The Washington Post editorial board emphasized the current scientific consensus on GMO safety and criticized mandatory labeling of GMOs:

There is no mainstream scientific evidence showing that foods containing GMOs are any more or less harmful for people to consume than anything else in the supermarket, despite decades of development and use. If that doesn’t convince some people, they have the option of simply buying food bearing the “organic” label. There is no need for the government to stigmatize products with a label that suggests the potential for harm. Outright bans, meanwhile, are even worse than gratuitous labeling.

The editorial board also endorsed the potential benefits that GM crops have to offer, including addressing global hunger:

The application of current biotechnological tools to agriculture offers a wide array of benefits , benefits that are only beginning to be seen. There is the potential to create crops that are easier to grow, better for the environment and more nutrient-rich. Smart genetic modification is one important tool available to sustain the world’s growing multitudes. Making good on that promise will require both an openness to the technology and serious investment in GMOs within wealthy countries. The prospect of helping to feed the starving and improve the lives of people across the planet should not be nipped because of the self-indulgent fretting of first-world activists.

As with any field, there’s room for reasonable caution and study using real science. But there is nothing reasonable about anti-GMO fundamentalism. Voters and their representatives should worry less about “Frankenfood” and more about the vast global challenges that genetically modified crops can help address.

Read the full, original article: Genetically modified crops could help improve the lives of millions

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The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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