Consumer Reports challenged for spreading misinformation on GMO labeling campaigns

| | October 13, 2014
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Consumer Reports is widely known as a respectable organization that reviews and tests products on behalf of consumers. It is somewhat of a watchdog for consumer products. Unfortunately, the organization has stepped off the tracks into the realm of “pseudo-science.” In its latest articles, Consumer Reports has taken an anti-GMO position, even though they have come to the party a little late and seem woefully uneducated about the topic.

Now representatives from the organization are making the rounds on morning television talk shows to talk about biotechnology. For all the consumer advocacy the organization has done and the credibility it has earned, it seems they have decided to throw it all away.

Consumer Reports story on biotechnology is nothing more than campaign literature for the anti-GMO labeling campaigns. As I’ve written about previously, Colorado’s Proposition 105 and Oregon’s Measure 92 are ballot initiatives that would require labeling. The organization is now advocating in favor of these proposals. Unfortunately, Consumer Reports also made a handful of statements both in print and on various television programs that are just straight up false. I’ll take them one at a time.

Consumer Reports claim: There haven’t been sufficient studies done to determine whether there are long-term health risks for people eating GMO foods.

Related article:  AquaBounty GM salmon on the ropes? How anti-biotech campaigners strangle innovation through regulation overkill

Truth: I’m not sure what Consumer Reports would consider a “sufficient” amount of research on the long-term health risks, but the general scientific consensus is that genetically modified crops are safe. In fact, there have been over 2,000+ studies — most of them done by independent researchers — that unquestionably demonstrate GMOs are safe. The database of studies is online and available for anyone to peruse. It’s called GENERA and easily accessible to the public…and Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports claim: “[S]ome animal studies suggest that eating genetically engineered crops such as corn may have harmful effects on the immune system, liver, and kidneys.”

Truth: Again, Consumer Reports seems to use carefully crafted language to portray biotechnology in a bad light. To most people, “studies” means something with some minimum level of scientific standards. But Consumer Reports obviously doesn’t seem to think those are important, because the only studies on animals that show negative effects have all been discredited or severely criticized for not following scientific standards.

Read full, original article: Calling Out Consumer Reports

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