Activists missing point: GMOs proxy for other concerns

In a recent article, Beth Skwarecki writes about the fact that people who are opposed to GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are fighting against the wrong thing. Their reasons for opposing GMOs don’t really have anything to do with GMOs, which have become an easy proxy for these other concerns.

She begins with the idea that GMOs mean more pesticides. Limiting the use of pesticides in our massive agriculture industry is a very legitimate concern. It is always a good idea to limit exposures in order to have a comfortable safety margin of dose. Pesticides also can have unintended consequences, such as insecticides killing off beneficial insect species.

It is therefore in our interest to have effective, efficient, and thoughtful pest control. GMOs are one tool among many that may help optimize pest control through integrated pest management. Equating GMOs with pesticide leads to the wrong solution to a very serious problem.

The second issue she raises is opposition to GMOs because they are unnatural. This, again, is sloppy thinking. All of our crops are very different than how they evolved prior to human intervention.

The notion that GMOs are “unnatural” is simply meaningless. It is also often based on a false premise – that there is no way for genes from a bacteria, for example, to get into a vegetable in nature. While irrelevant, it is also not true. Scientists, for example, recently found genes from soil bacteria in 291 sweet potato varieties, a natural gene insertion that occurred about 8,000 years ago.

The final issue is corporate control of our farming and food chain. Here, too, GMOs are the wrong target.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Missing the Point and Wasting Resources

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