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When will the GMO debate end?

| | February 25, 2016
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

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In the January 2010 issue of Top Producer, I connected two obvious dots: First, people had consumed GMOs for decades, and second, people were not dropping in the streets from GMO poisoning. I predicted resistance to GMOs had proven futile and it was time to move on.

. . . .

. . . . Looking at this rancorous dispute years later, I now see it disintegrating into irrelevance on the scale of “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”—an issue that haunted great thinkers in the Middle Ages.

First, bipartisan cooperation needed for negotiation has become synonymous with weakness. With so little political upside, outside a dwindling number of ag legislators, this issue has only risks for lawmakers. . . . politicians who choose to dodge the issue throughout their elected term do little reputational harm.

Second, even if you wanted to write GMO legislation and could get consensus, the next step will confound you. . . . Any definition you can come up with to identify a GMO can be rapidly nullified because of new technology or because it includes too many accepted products and natural processes to be useful.

. . . .We’re asking a legislative system and culture that cannot agree on the meaning of “nexus,” or label restrooms, to precisely analyze and judge scientific tools. . .

. . . .

So how do I see the GMO debate ending? I don’t. I can only echo the words of physicist Max Planck: “Truth never triumphs; its opponents simply die out. Science advances one funeral at a time.” The GMO impasse could gradually evaporate in exhaustion and obsolescence as a generational bugaboo, much like your grandmother’s fear of flying.

Read full, original post: Perspective: The GMO Debate Is About to Get Weirder

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