Joshua Price's picture
If GMO's are safet and cause no health risks, why are there countless medical studies and post mordum exams on animals that have consumed GMO food that have graphic organ damage? I refer you to Jeffery Smith's book Genetic Roulette, for the countless medical/clinical studies available in one location. This book is also referenced quite well so you could read the peer reviewed papers, if desired. Please don't respond that may of these cases cited by Mr. Smith were not conducted in the US and are invalid. Regards, Amos

A:Expert Answer

To answer your first question, several claims of animal health risks from GMO foods have been reviewed on this website – you may find the following responses to other questions interesting:


Dr. Bruce Chassy, Professor Emeritus of Food Safety and Nutritional Sciences in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, recently provided a response to a similar question about health risks and Jeffrey Smith’s book, Genetic Roulette; an excerpt is below:


“I understand that claims made by Jeffrey Smith, the movie’s director and author the self-published book, Genetic Roulette, are alarming and could cause great concern. It’s important to understand Mr. Smith’s background. He is not a doctor or researcher and he has never conducted a scientific study or published a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Please read his Biography at his website ( to confirm this. He is an energetic, articulate and persuasive layperson who has made himself into one of the leading outspoken opponents of GM crops -- but he is no expert on the science.


Despite the numerous claims made by Mr. Smith about all sorts of adverse effects caused by GM crops, none of these has ever actually occurred in real life. The scientific facts and evidence undermine Smith's claims.


As one review of the movie reads: ‘…his evidence is anecdotal and not the result of rigorous scientific investigations. His experts for the most part are not scientists at all, but drawn from parents, activists, pseudo-scientists and members of the alternative medicine community.’”


Chassy also provides a point-by-point response to Jeffrey Smith’s Genetic Roulette on his blog Academics Review, addressing each claim with peer-reviewed science:

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Brenna Aune's picture

Of course they're gonna say it's pseudo-science. They gotta wait till the head pooah has a dead child, with endless evidence it was from GMOs.

Rickinreallife's picture

Isn't Jeffrey Smith a yoga instructor or something like that? There is a wesite, "Academics Review" that painstakingly disects each claim Jeffrey Smith makes in Genetic Roullette, including exposing flaws in the research articles and other sources he cites as evidence. No wonder Jeffrey Smith insisted on his own segment of the program and asked not to be seated with scientists and have no on stage interaction with them on Dr. Oz Show segment. Even if you suspect Academics Review is an industry hatchet job, you should take a look, since the flaws in its critique of Jeffrey Smith's Genetic Roullette should be obvious. I can understand the lack of trust in research and assessment that support the lack of harm in gmo products, as so reduntly expressed on this site, but it does not follow that anything written by authors like Jeffrey Smith are to be automatically immune to critical review by scientist or anyone else for that matter.

Person-Man's picture


Plus, why feel a need to try and degrade someone based on their chosen profession? I see what you're trying to do and it's quite low. If you were a truck driver, but found out about something in politics that was alarming and made a film with people in politics to raise awareness about it would you want to be next to a political commentator who's sole purpose will be to take jabs at your findings? Were these farmers lying for the fun of it?
Someone cited the "Academics Review", so I looked into it. At random I looked into one of the refuting references because I found the name funny; Barfoot, P or Peter Barfoot.

I found he works for PG economics and then I found some interesting facts on that "Independent Research Group". Interesting things such as a report funded by ABE which members include; Bayer CropScience, BASF, Dow AgroSciences, Dupont, Monsanto and Syngenta. Information they withheld. Other things too all summarized here:
*note this is not my site and I am complying with rules of GMOanswers site

I don't have time to painstakingly disect ALL references on the "Academics Review"- but that was just ONE AT RANDOM and I'm sure there are more like that- this "non-biased site" is also funded by names mentioned above.

Can you understand my lack of trust in corporations that lack integrity?

Joseph Najjar's picture

@ Person-man That is ridiculous to say. If you have no formal training in the hard sciences, you cannot just step in and access a situation like the professionals who have an education and work experience in that field. I too read the Academics review, its right here:

Its pretty clear Jeffery Smith is full of it, I have never seen him cite a source, he routinely ignores scientific literature on the issues he discusses, and never debates a researcher or scientist directly, as he would be torn to shreds by logic and reason. His statements are so outlandish, its almost satirical. If you want real information on GMOs, look at this journal published out of the European Union:

Rickinreallife's picture

Person-Man: I regret the condescending tone my comment appears to have conveyed. Please understand that I do not intend to degrade Jeffrey Smith because he practices and teaches yoga. But, he does hold himself out as an expert on genetic engineering and makes a number of claims and interpretations of scientific literature in genetic roulette and other writings. I get it that those like me with only lay understandings of the relevant science might be skeptical of scientific literature when people perceive there is an economic self interest in the results. Jeffrey Smith has assumed a role of somewhat of a watchdog that I think segments of the public appreciate, even if his assessment of risks associated with biotechnology can be shown to be incorrect.

Particularly because of his lack of training or expertise in any scientific field relevant to the topic of genetic engineering, I do not find it imprudent to seek out assessments from sources that have training and practice in that field. While I agree there is no need for condescention, I still believe his claims in genetic roulette should stand or fall on their merits, and just as you have implied that industry associated science is subject to skepticism, neither is Jeffrey Smith entitled to my, your, or anyone's unquestioning acceptance. From a variety of sources that I find more trustworthy, I am highly skeptical Jeffrey Smith's claims in genetic roulette correctly interpret the literature, either purposely omit or are only possible by being oblivious to the breadth of research, and relies often on shaky sources of information. That is not a moral judgement of Mr. Smith, it is merely my personal assessment of the accuracy and quality of his writings.

I will agree in general that some of the pro-GMO sites can be callously dismissive of dissenting viewpoints and authors. I think that hurts because people perceive it as attacking those perceived as looking out for the public interest. But, I don't know how those who practice in the field and have extensive experience and knowledge, whether employed by biotech firms or in academia, can respond to someone like Jeffrey Smith. And it goes both ways. There are people who work in biotechnology who sincerely believe it holds great promise, who are attracted to the field because of its possibilities to resolve agronomic and nutritional problems. Yet you cannot go to a site like gmo watch or read comments to articles where these professionals are ridiculed as being industry stooges, inferring that they know genetic engineering is somehow wrong but they have sold out for money. That's not fair either.

Community Manager's picture

This community intends to have a productive and non-confrontational conversation which focuses on the facts about GMOs — please keep this in mind when posting comments. We reserve the right to remove comments and block users who continually break our house rules, available here: Joseph Najjar's confrontational comment was deleted from this thread because it violates our house-rules.