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Posted On: Tuesday, 7/30/2013 11:39 pm
A: Many social scientists believe that “genetic modification” of food crops produces an emotional response in human beings because people believe that food is fundamental to life and should not be tinkered with. The term “genetically modified” is poorly understood and can sound very scary. What many people need to know is that virtually all of the food we eat has been genetically modified for thousands of years by nature, by farmers saving their best seeds and by plant breeders. An example of... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Tuesday, 7/30/2013 5:33 am
A: It is true that most technologies are not inherently good or evil but rather must be evaluated based on how they are used. In the case of genetically modified crops and foods, there have been enormous benefits from the applications used to date, as documented in a report released in May 2014 in the United Kingdom. There is the promise of even greater benefits in the future of this technology. But, like any technology, GM technology could be abused and applied in a malevolent or socially... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Thursday, 4/10/2014 1:27 pm
A: Several federal government agencies are involved in the regulation of GM crops. This post by Steve Savage explains the historical context of this regulatory process in the U.S. Here is an excerpt: “Most industries that are regulated have a history of past environmental or health problems that precipitated the need for governmental oversight in the first place. In the case of crops improved by biotechnology, the regulations were put in place well before any such crops were... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Saturday, 8/03/2013 3:35 pm
A: Thanks for your question! Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, former director for agricultural biotechnology for EuropaBio, recently provided a response to a similar question: “For three years France was the second-largest GM cultivator in the EU, before the government introduced a moratorium in 2008. Since then, the highest French Court, Conseil d’État, and the European Court of Justice have repeatedly declared the ban illegal. As a consequence, French farmers are denied the possibility to choose... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Wednesday, 1/08/2014 4:37 am
A: Typically, scientists who focus on reproductive and developmental safety look at two different sources of information: animal studies and epidemiologic investigations. In regard to animal data, glyphosate is relatively unique in having multiple independent companies perform reproductive and developmental toxicology studies in rodents and rabbits. These studies show no reproducible reproductive or developmental effects. Most recently, in 2012, a group of toxicologists conducted a detailed... Continue Reading