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 September 5, 2017
While there might be some institutions with the capability to make these transgenic watermelon and coconut plants for you, that does not mean that you would be able to actually plant them out. First, the institution would need to have a Biological Use Authorization to work with recombinant DNA to make the vectors to transfer the genes. Then they would need to be able to do the tissue culture required to transfer the genes and regenerate whole plants again, which can sometimes be difficult.... Read More
Posted on August 5, 2017
I’m a genetic engineer. I’ve spent 30 years participating as a member of teams of genetic engineers, and I love your question. Most of us do indeed spend a lot of time inside the lab, but we’re not always sitting. Sometimes we dance!   Genetic engineering starts with an idea for a way to solve a problem, so I guess it starts with an understanding of the problems. In agriculture, for example, that means spending time to understand what’s happening on farms and... Read More
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Posted on August 5, 2017
Other than research, our work starts at the design of a plasmid vector that contains a gene cassette that we want to introduce in a plant genome. Once the plasmid vector design is completed, it is synthesized by bringing together several DNA components together thru a bio-chemical reaction. When the plasmid vector is made, the several components are verified by restriction endonuclease digestion reactions and/or thru DNA sequencing. After this verification is completed, the plasmid... Read More
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