Viewpoint: Why the term ‘GMO’ contributes nothing to debates over food safety


Many people believe that a so-called “genetically modified organism” (GMO) is a term that has some significance for interpreting the safety of food. Most life scientists — geneticists, biologists, ecologists, and agronomists — are pretty sure that the opposite is true.

An in-depth study released by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine makes clear that the process of genetic engineering is not riskier than older methods of genetic alteration. The results of that report basically confirm a similar analysis that was released more than a third of a century ago. From the 1990s to today, many position statements by scientific societies, not to mention countless papers by individual scholars, have reaffirmed that axiom.

Related article:  Could success of Europe's only cultivated GMO crop help ease public fear of biotechnology?

While some members of the public are concerned about GMOs, the overwhelming majority of experts do not share this concern. Worse, the groups that fuel the Frankenfood fearmongering are reactionary anti-biotech groups that profit from making people afraid of their dinner. The media, which feels compelled to give “both sides” of the debate, creates false balance and a distorted picture of scientific reality.

Indeed, those who demand never-ending tests to “prove the safety” of GMOs are not able to put forward any science-based reason: not a single peer-reviewed paper has ever been published which even gives theoretical justification for considering DNA-tinkering to be inherently dangerous.

Read full, original article: ‘GMO’ Is A Meaningless, Misleading Term

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