It won’t matter. As with the many credible, validated, peer reviewed studies that have gone before, the latest by the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine — showing yet again that foods produced with genetically modified crop ingredients pose no health risk — will fall on deaf ears.
A host of angels descending from Heaven, trumpets blaring, delivering tablets writ with fiery letters proclaiming “Lo! GMOs are safe!” would change nary a whit the stance of those who maintain that the crops are a plot by an international agrichemical cabal to rack up enormous profits — with farmers blithely serving as co-conspirators — while willy-nilly jeopardizing the health of the consuming public.
Nor is it apt to significantly stem contributions to activist organizations that capitalize on consumer fears to generate millions of dollars.
In a 408-page report, the Academy cited extensive epidemiological data from the U.S. and Canada, where foods have contained GMO ingredients for two decades, and contrasted it with data from western Europe, where GMO-containing foods have not been widely consumed.
IT’S FREE! Stay informed on what’s happening in Mid-South agriculture: Subscribe to Delta Farm Press Daily.
While noting that new technologies in genetic engineering and conventional breeding “are blurring the once clear distinctions between these two crop improvement approaches,” and “the inherent difficulty in detecting subtle or long term effects on health or the environment,” the study committee “found no substantiated evidence of a difference in risk to human health between current commercially available genetically engineered crops and conventionally bred crops, nor did it find conclusive cause-and-effect evidence of environmental problems.”
The chief worry expressed was not related to human health, but rather the problems farmers face with weeds developing resistance to widely-used pesticides.
Important upcoming events: Delta Farm Press Calendar of Events
The NAS committee examined almost 900 research and other publications on development, use, and effects of genetically engineered characteristics of corn, soybeans, and cotton — which account for almost all GM crops planted worldwide — plus information from public webinars and over 700 comments from the public, searching “for persuasive evidence of adverse health effects directly attributable to consumption of foods derived from GE crops, but found none.”
Further, “Studies with animals and research on the chemical composition of GE foods currently on the market reveal no differences that would implicate a higher risk to human health and safety than from eating their non-GE counterparts.”