Truth about Trade & Technology
November 16, 2005


By Will Verboven

Will Verboven writes that it has now been 10 years since the
introduction of genetically modified food products into the North
American diet, and in all those years, not a single person has gotten
sick or died from eating any food that contains a genetically modified
organism (GMO). In this case, no news is good news, but this positive
situation has driven environmental and consumer groups to
exasperation. They desperately need dead bodies or sick people to
justify their mindless campaign against genetically modified foods.

So they have, instead, had to resort to junk science and
precautionary-principle fear-mongering in a desperate attempt to keep
the anti-GMO issue alive in North America. The public remains unmoved
and common sense has prevailed, largely by default, as few consumers
have any clue what genetically modified food means, or that they've
been eating it for the past 10 years. Anti-GMO forces try to justify
their position by quoting surveys that the majority of consumers are
against GM food. Those same consumers, cif asked, would probably be
against the artificial heat shock treatment of dairy products
(otherwise known as pasteurization). Pollsters can get the answer they
want from a naive responder who doesn't want to appear ignorant.

Verboven says that if bogus surveys don't work, then environmental
groups will use as much junk science as it takes to deceive the
public. With enough money and the overbroad interpretations of
scientific evidence, they can manufacture doubt out of almost

Take the experiment, cited repeatedly by anti-GMO groups as proof
positive that GM food products are deadly, in which mice died from
eating a genetically modified potato. What the groups fail to mention
is that mice would die eating a non-GM potato. Potatoes contain too
much moisture, too much starch and too little protein for a small
rodent to survive on.

Nevertheless, the anti-GMO forces have managed to succeed in Europe.
Verboven goes on to conclude past 10 years have shown consumers are
unmoved by the issue: no dead bodies in the street from genetically
modified food poisoning, so no need for concern. Let's hope that a
common-sense perspective continues to rule the day.

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