Alison Van Eenennaam, an animal geneticist at the University of California-Davis, told the Idaho Milk Processors Association annual conference there has to be a concerted effort by agriculture to stand up against the myths behind the opposition to such advances as genetically engineered crops or “we’ll have no technology left.”
“[GMO use] in food tends to be where the fireworks come in,” she said.
Those fireworks resulted in marketers turning away from rBST, a safe technology to increase milk production in cows, to gain a market advantage in claiming their products were rBST-free… The big controversy now is GMO crops, grown by 18 million farmers globally. With 16.5 million of those in developing countries, 90 percent of GMO crops are grown by small-scale farmers in developing countries, where there’s been a tremendous reduction in pesticide use, she said.
By far, the largest consumer of those crops are livestock, which have consumed that feed for more than 20 years. There’s been about 300 carefully controlled studies on the performance of those animal populations, showing no significance differences or deleterious trends in productivity.
“Apparently no one wants to read them,” she said.
Anti-GMO sympathizers would prefer to latch onto sensational, unreliable, politicized studies to confirm a predetermined bias, she said.
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