QGiven there are similar levels of scientific consensus regarding climate change and GMO safety, why is it that so many people who are firmly committed to mitigating the effects of climate change based on scientific consensus are equally firmly of the beli

Given there are similar levels of scientific consensus regarding climate change and GMO safety, why is it that so many people who are firmly committed to mitigating the effects of climate change based on scientific consensus are equally firmly of the belief that GMOs are unsafe despite the scientific consensus to the contrary?

AExpert Answer

As you point out, the science overwhelmingly supports the safety of GM food. However, we also know that decisions about food are very personal and influenced by many factors. We launched this site to give people the chance to ask the questions about biotechnology that are most important to them.

 

Author, journalist and environmental activist Mark Lynas addressed this question during his presentation at the Risk Science Center’s Bernstein Symposium in October 2013. Lynas was one of the early leaders of the anti-biotech movement and was involved in several biotech crop destructions.  During his presentation titled, “Why is it hard to pivot based on science?” he talked about how a project to document and catalog the real-life impacts of climate change led him to take a similar fact-finding approach to the science behind biotechnology. His research eventually led to a high-profile apology for his anti-biotech stance and actions. Read more on Lynas’ comments here or watch his presentation here

 

Mark Lynas is just one person, but his story is an example of how complex and personal this issue is. It also reinforces that an unbiased review of the science supports the safety of GM crops and technology.

Posted on February 18, 2018
Plant breeding technologies have systematically increased variation in major food crops by using a variety of scientific tools, such as crossing, mutation, genetics and statistics. Take corn, the most produced grain in the world, as an example. Numerous varieties of field corn, sweet corn and popcorn have been developed through plant breeding technologies. From hundreds of varieties, farmers choose the best ones suited for their soils, climates and cultivation systems to grow in their areas...
Posted on February 18, 2018
For more information on plant breeding techniques we invite you to check out the below similar questions that have been answered before. Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, discusses the cross-pollination and reproduction of plants in this response. A snippet is included below. “A species is defined by the ability to reproduce viable offspring, so any two plants within a species generally have the potential to cross pollinate.... Read More
Posted on February 7, 2018
Many people have commented on this, offering a variety to reasons for the opposition to GMOs and GM crops. They offer examples such as the detection of BSE in British cattle and the UK Minister for Agriculture publicly announcing British beef was perfectly safe to eat to the detection of dioxins in chocolate, all of which occurred in the late 1990s. At this time, GM food products were entering the market and in some instances even labelled as being GM products, such as GM tomato paste in... Read More
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