[Recently, the Center for Food Safety] sued the National Institutes of Health in an attempt to force the agency to reveal information about its funding for what is known as “gain-of-function” research — the term refers to a category of lab work that seeks to understand how viruses create pandemics.
Why would this lefty food and farms group—and they aren’t alone—rail against high-level virology research? The key to the answer has to do with the Center for Food Safety’s long opposition to the practice of genetic engineering. In a recent phone call, I spoke to CFS’s [Andrew] Kimbrell, who explained what he sees as the connection.
“You genetically engineer bacteria and plants, then you genetically engineer animals, then you genetically engineer embryos—all that has happened, with some promise, but also a tremendous amount of danger and threat,” he said. “Now, viruses are not technically an organism, but they are living biological elements. So, they fit certainly within that narrative: Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should do something.”
With tens of thousands of followers on social media, anti-GMO groups have the potential to turn the tide of public opinion; hanging in the balance is science that could potentially help prevent the next pandemic.