QI'm trying to avoid conflicts of interest so I was just wondering if all the scientists who test the long terms safety issues of gmos work for Monsanto?

I'm trying to avoid conflicts of interest so I was just wondering if all the scientists who test the long terms safety issues of gmos work for Monsanto?

AExpert Answer

No.  Many studies are performed by independent scientists.  In fact, a 2012 literature review by Snell et al provides a good summary of feeding studies with diets containing large amounts of GMO-derived ingredients (Snell C, Bernheim A, Bergé JB, Kuntz M, Pascal G, Paris A, Ricroch AE. 2012. Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: a literature review. Food Chem Toxicol. 50:1134-48). 

 

 This paper also includes a section specifically devoted to long-term studies and provides funding information for each of these studies.  Independent scientists performed all of these studies, and most of the studies were independently funded as well.  However, only 50% of the studies list the funding sources, so we can only verify that those studies were independently funded.

 

It is also worth noting that feeding studies on our products that are submitted to regulators and are funded by industry are not conducted by industry scientists, but by independent contract research labs that also conduct similar kinds of studies for the food and pharmaceutical sectors.  These research labs comply with federal and international guidelines (known as Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs) on the conduct of research.  These labs would not be in business, nor would their results be acceptable to global regulators, if they did not accurately and consistently conduct these studies according to well established protocols and methods and prepare the results for the groups that have sponsored the studies.  These labs are also subject to inspection by federal agencies.

Posted on April 11, 2018
Interesting question - that's a good example of how the term "GMO" (genetically modified organism) is too vague to be really useful. In a sense, yes, your genes are modified compared to both of your parents. And you're definitely not genetically identical to your parents (unless you're a yeast, or a starfish, or a willow tree, or some other organism that can reproduce asexually).   But in common usage, the term GMO refers to an organism containing a gene... Read More
Posted on March 1, 2018
I don't see organic foods becoming obsolete in the future, but I could see what qualifies as certified organic changing over time. There is some debate right now about whether or not the meaning of organic is being diluted. For example, look at growing produce hydroponically. There are some who do not want hydroponics to fall under the organic label. They believe organic should be about taking care of the soil as much if not more than growing the crop, and when there's no soil involved... Read More
Posted on March 1, 2018
GMOs are crops - and like any other version of the same crop, where you grow them and how you grow them is far more important than whether they are GMOs. No known system of agriculture can promise that it is sustainable forever; much agricultural research is being devoted to improving the sustainability of agriculture. In this regard, it appears likely that using GM technologies may improve sustainability of a particular crop cultured in a specific manner and place. Other... Read More
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