Category Archive: GMOs

Here’s the Scoop on Glyphosate in Your Ben & Jerry’s

The New York Times is making a name for itself in the realm of sensationalism lately. First came the heavily criticized article accused America’s favorite macaroni and cheese of being laden with “potentially harmful chemicals.” Now, the Times is taking on Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream over a sensationalized report claiming 10 of 11 of the company’s flavors contain traces of a common weed killer. The report was commissioned by the Organic Consumers Association, which bills itself as an advocate of “health, justice, and sustainability.” But let’s be clear: the Organic Consumers Association isn’t concerned about the dangers lurking in your dessert. If it...

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Daytime Emmys Have a Low Bar for “Informative Talk Shows”

Perhaps the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences should drop the final word from its title, after awarding “The Dr. Oz Show” a Daytime Emmy for its role as an “outstanding informative talk show.” Clearly, it doesn’t matter to the Academy that the information Dr. Mehmet Oz so “outstandingly” peddles is pure fiction. A 2014 study in the journal BMJ found that two thirds of Dr. Oz’s recommendations – including cutting salt to avoid cancer, and cutting GMOs to cure autism – were either baseless or completely contradicted by available scientific evidence. In that same year, “America’s Doctor” came under...

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Keep Marching for Science

This weekend, science advocates in over 500 cities celebrated Earth Day by taking to the streets to March for Science. Emerging from the comfort of our laboratories might be a good thing. Despite the fact that Pew Research surveys show Americans invest a high degree of trust in scientists – far more than the news, elected officials, or even community leaders – 83 percent of Americans cannot name a single living scientist. (A few recognizable names for your personal reference: Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, James Watson, Richard Dawkins.) Americans appreciate “science” in the abstract, yet common chemistries and technologies have whipped many parents and hasty health reporters into a fear-filled...

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Girl Scouts Trade Science for Marketing

While the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) organization certainly deserves credit for encouraging generations of girls and young women to pursue their interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), its commitment to sound science seems to have taken a back seat in recent months. Last November, our girls in green announced their first “non-GMO” product, a S’mores-inspired cookie celebrating the organization’s 100th year. The change followed more than 3 years of intense activist pressure to convince GSUSA to purge all their recipes of genetically modified ingredients. Here are a number of facts that did not accompany the roll out of...

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A Vote for Genetic Modification is a Vote for Public Health

In the war on Zika, Florida residents may soon fight fire with fire (or mosquitoes with mosquitoes in this case). On Tuesday, 58 percent of Monroe County residents voted to allow the release of GM mosquitoes to help control the local mosquito population. In the FDA-approved trial, males modified to produce inviable offspring would be released to mate with wild females. Any offspring from the pairings die in the larval stage, and the population of Zika-carrying mosquitoes subsequently plummets – which is great news for pregnant Floridians. But residents of Key Haven, where the release is poised to take place, weren’t so...

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Activists Make Big Stink about GMOs

Scientists recently gathered at a conference in Europe to discuss the challenges of food security and sustainability in the 21st century. But not long after the lectures began, activists burst in and made a big stink about biotechnology. Had they been scientifically minded, they would’ve brought arguments based on evidence. Instead, they doused audience members in urine, threw rotten eggs, and dumped cow manure on the lecture hall floor. That’s one way to make a statement. Albeit not a very respectable or rational one. Thousands of studies and the world’s major scientific bodies have concluded, based on peer-reviewed, empirical findings, GMOs are safe. It’s a fact which flinging...

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Another Tip for Detecting Junk Science

When health scares start to spread, they can become hard to stamp out—even if its source has been long extinguished. This is especially true when it comes to junk science online, where headlines live longer than they do in traditional media like newspapers or TV stories. After seeing hysterical "news" online about GMOs or vaccines, readers might be surprised to hear how little evidence is behind such panic. The mass hysteria of both anti-progress movements was triggered by a single study, and both were swiftly discredited upon peer-review. That means the “studies” anti-vaxxers and anti-GMO activists like to cite have been dead...

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Organics Could be Labeled GMO?

Congress recently approved a GMO labeling bill and the President is set to sign it into law. But not everyone is happy about the new regulation, even food warriors who wanted them for years, like the Food Babe, who claims the new labels are “uninformative.” The Food Babe believes “informative” labels specifically need the words “Genetically Modified” stamped on them. (The new law gives food manufacturers several options to provide this information to consumers including a QR code or a symbol.) The Food Babe’s frustration demonstrates how the pro-labeling crowd was more interested in producing a warning rather than consumer information. Like the Food...

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The Crisis of Science

The gap between public opinion and scientific knowledge is growing, as our Dr. Joe Perrone just wrote in the Orange County Register. But it might be worse than previously believed. A recent study of 1,000 American consumers found that 84 percent favored mandatory labels for foods with genetically engineered ingredients.  It sounds like the type of study anti-biotech advocates cite in debates about GMOs. But, unfortunately for food activists, the same survey showed 80 percent of consumers want labels on all foods with DNA. Yep. 80 percent believed that foods containing DNA, i.e. the genetic information which creates and maintains life, should be labeled. All food has DNA. The...

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Your Favorite Foods Before and After Genetic Modification

Anti-GMO groups often define GMOs as organisms modified by humans. Though modern technologies are in mind, here’s the problem: humans have been tinkering with genes since antiquity. If foods were labeled using this broad definition, virtually every fruit, nut, or vegetable would be included. That’s because even the traditional practice of selective breeding is considered genetic modification. In other words, GMO labeling should have begun about 10,000 years ago when agriculture started. Just because something has been modified by humans doesn’t make it bad. In fact, it’s more than likely an improvement. Check out these infographics of foods humans have ‘genetically modified’...

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