Fish genes in tomatoes? The GMO lie that just won’t die

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Editor’s note: Mary Mangan, Ph.D., received her education in microbiology, immunology, plant cell biology, and mammalian cell, developmental, and molecular biology

Besides celebrities, another group that has big megaphones are companies with marketing budgets. Just recently Stonyfield created a campaign with atrocious misinformation spewed by cute children.

[Editor’s note: Read the GLP’s coverage of the Stonyfield video fiasco here]

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[A]s wrong and stupid as that was, what really bothers me about Stonyfield’s nonsense is the downstream consequences of their false claims. The fish-mato particularly triggered me. I was recalling a story by Joe Schwarcz about a guy who came to one of his events: “There are No Fish Genes in Tomatoes”:

“If genetically modified foods were properly labeled, I could still eat tomatoes,” was the angry remark. I was puzzled by this, but the gentleman went on to clarify. “I have a fish allergy,” he said, “and I have no way of knowing which tomatoes have been modified with fish genes, so I just don’t eat any tomato products.”

What happened here? A guy was misled by the claims of the anti-GMO folks and has been avoiding a healthy food for years — based on a lie. This is one case, but we hear this all the time from the food-fearful that are carrying a lot of food myths around.

Related article:  Stonyfield founder Gary Hirshberg leverages 'Vandana Shiva Affair' to promote GMO labeling

Lies about food and medicine, and associated conspiracy theories, are hurting people. The worst offenders are the ones with the biggest platforms — Tom Brady, Gwyneth Paltrow, New York Times, Stonyfield — I’m looking at you.

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Read full, original post: Flu and fish-mato

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