GMO labeling law makes ‘Biggest Science Setbacks of 2016’ list

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Photo by Steve Rhodes/Flickr

Scientific progress doesn’t always move in a straight line. In fact, as we’ve seen this year, sometimes things just turn around and move backwards. …

…These were the worst setbacks to science in 2016.

. . . .

In July, President Obama signed a GMO labeling law that much of the anti-GMO movement regarded as a sham. The law, which will require labeling on all food packages indicating whether they contains GMO ingredients, is indeed a watered-down version of legislation lawmakers sought to pass in Vermont. …

But even if the law is toothless, the fact that it exists is still a victory for the anti-GMO movement, and hence for yet another public backlash against science. After all, most scientists agree that GMOs, which are in upwards of 75 percent of our food, are safe to consume.

A recent Pew Research survey found that a fifth of those under 30 feel not only that non-modified foods are better, but that GM-varieties might lead to health problems, a claim which is not supported by science. Unfortunately, the anti-GMO frenzy has also blinded activists to the potential benefits of GMOs. Take the environmental group Greenpeace, which has worked vigorously to block GMOs designed to reduce vitamin A deficiency in economically impoverished nations.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The Biggest Science Setbacks of 2016

  • Robert Howd

    I don’t think the labeling bill is that big a deal, because the public demanded something, and this seems a rational (though not very useful) attempt at a compromise. But more than that, I think the GLP should have noted Number 1 on this list of setbacks for science. The election of Donald Trump represents a much bigger and more important attack on science than this measly labeling bill. Whether this election is good or bad for GMO science, and for agriculture as a whole, is yet to be determined, but I think we all need to be concerned .

    • Damo

      I agree with you in part. The labeling bill should never have been passed because I just don’t see how that is within the Federal government’s role. If individual states wanted it, so be it, but since it has nothing to do with safety, I say let it be up to the states.

  • Antigmoadvocate

    We have the right to know what is in our food! I agree with the Labeling bill. There are also many scientific studies that prove GMOs are harmful to us, so I don’t think that you have much basis on this topic. GMOs change the most basic and vital components of foods, and I think that is something everyone should be worried about.

    • Biron_1

      You are free to worry about GMO — nobody is infringing on that right. You are also free to know what is in your food. You exercise that right by refusing to purchase food that is not labeled according to your needs.

      You have absolutely no right to impose labeling on those like myself engaging in willful transactions with a non-labeling producer. What right to you forego when i purchase unlabeled food?

    • agscienceliterate

      You do not have the “right” to force meaningless labels on our food just because you want them and because you buy into total pseudscience. And labeling initiatives in 4 states failed because more rational people than yourself knew how ridiculous, unscientific, costly, and unnecessary labeling laws were. If you have any scientifically credible info that “GMOs change the most basic and vital components of foods,” please post.
      In the meanwhile, you have the right to eat organic and non-gmo certified. There are tens of thousands of products labeled that way, and hey, you can afford it.

      • Antigmoadvocate

        By saying that you do not think we need labels you are saying that think no one needs to know what is in the food they are eating. Until you can prove to me that GMO’s are perfectly harmless i should know what I am eating. Please post your long term studies on GMO safety (That you don’t have).
        http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/976/ge-food-labeling/us-polls-on-ge-food-labeling#
        http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1
        Just know this is not the only GMO website.

        • agscienceliterate

          1) Do not attempt to twist my words. That is not what I was “saying.” Gaslighting makes you look foolish.
          2) Thousands of studies. You need the intellectual discipline and curiosity to look them up.
          3) Expecting some kind of “proof” of no harm is not provable. For organic, mutagenesis, anything. Learn something about scientific methodologies and standards of “proof.”
          4) Center for Food Safety is a joke. And ABC news is just a repost, not a study.
          5). There are more important windmills right now to tilt at, Anti.
          6) Tens of thousands of foods labeled organic and non-gmo certified for you to choose from. Eat up.

          • Antigmoadvocate

            1. Wasn’t that the point of your little speech? “You do not have the right to force labels on food”. And I said you think labels are not necessary.
            2. I will say the same to you. There is just as much info for each side of the argument.
            3. So you cannot give me evidence. Or even a link. Noted.
            4. You will say every single website I post up here is a “joke”, just like I think the FDA is a complete “joke”.
            5. Well then stop responding
            6. What about those people who can’t afford to do that?

          • Antigmoadvocate
          • agscienceliterate

            That’s junk advocacy. Like Fox News.
            “To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
            –Thomas Paine

          • antigmoactivist

            A liberal. That explains a lot. So if you are just going to respond with “that’s junk” to everything I say then I think I am just going to assume that you have nothing else to help convince me of your point.

          • agscienceliterate

            You have no idea about my ideology. More gaslighting. Not my job to “convince” you. Either you have intellectual honesty and open curiosity, or you do not. Eat organic.

          • Antigmoadvocate

            Well then I was right. I’m done here.

          • agscienceliterate

            Whatever. Believe you are right. Just like Kellyanne Conway. Yawn. Buh- bye.

          • antigmoactivist

            Let me guess. Your life is based around Hilary Clinton political donations, Trump protests, and CNN reports.

      • Antigmoadvocate

        It is not just me that wants them.

        • agscienceliterate

          You’re in the minority. Attempts to force meaningless unscientific labels on breeding methods (but excluding mutagenesis, explain that) have been defeated in the last 4 statewide ballot attempts, in CO, CA, OR, and WA. But you have the right to keep kicking your dead horse.

          • Antigmoadvocate

            Am I? Go to any polling website that has a GMO poll.