Two weeks ago, I girded my loins and wrote a column endorsing genetically engineered food.
The spate of fist-shaking, chest-thumping letters and comments that followed was not unexpected given that most Americans believe genetically modified food is unfit to eat, despite assurances of safety from such definitive sources as the Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association.
This reaction is normal. New science seldom inspires trust.
Today, though, let’s consider what the critics have to say and try to answer their concerns.
Are you sure you want to be eating glyphosate?
Glyphosate, an herbicide used to kill weeds that choke out crops, can be found in trace amounts on foods that are genetically engineered to tolerate the herbicide, as well as some foods that are not.
According to the FDA and laboratories across North America, the residual amount of glyphosate present in these foods is not harmful to humans. Period.
Let’s remind those who can’t get past the fact that there’s a minuscule, nontoxic amount of weed killer on their food, that we put potentially toxic substances in our bodies all the time. (Cocktails, anyone?)
One such substance that springs readily to mind is warfarin, which the Environmental Protection Agency classifies as rodenticide, or rat poison. Yet millions of Americans know warfarin as a lifesaving anticoagulant medication that helps to prevent blood clots that could cause heart attacks and strokes.
We trust medical science to tell us which medicines are safe; it’s time we trust food science to tell us which foods are safe.
Read full, original article: Answering critics of GMO foods and genetic engineering