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David Tribe Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer, Agriculture and Food Systems/Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia

Expert Bio

Dr. Tribe’s research career in academia and industry has covered molecular genetics, biochemistry, microbial evolution and biotechnology, and he has over 60 publications and patents His recent activities centre on agricultural policy and food risk management. He teaches graduate programmes in food science and risk management and is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, University of Melbourne.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: Are these scientists all wrong, there are over 800 scientists who all believe GMOs are a bad idea. many scientist believe that GMOs are good and do all of these scientist work for big agro corporations?

Answered By David Tribe Ph.D. - Dec 13, 2013

A: Scientific arguments are not settled by counting the number of people supporting an opinion. They start with a careful search for scientifically valid evidence, and they carry this forward with open-minded and careful, logical reasoning, and false conclusions are eliminated from the discussion. Good scientific reasoning also takes notice of the whole body of evidence on a topic and updates the verdict as new evidence becomes available. The I-SIS website mentioned in the question has a public letter with over 800 signatories. Most scientists, when making a scientific judgment, don’t reall [...]

GMO Basics How GMOs Are Made


Q: What is your response to the Canadian study that found Bt toxins in the afterbirth of pregnant women?

Answered By David Tribe Ph.D. - Mar 07, 2014

A: Dr. David Tribe, Senior Lecturer on Agriculture and Food Systems and Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia, addressed the study conducted by Aziz Aris and Samuel Leblanc in an article on the Biofortified Blog. The full article is posted below.Here are a few key points:   “The authors of the study claim to have detected the Cry1Ab protein in the blood of pregnant and nonpregnant Canadian women, and in umbilical cord blood of fetuses.” "A number of methodological and interpretive limitations of this paper limit the relevance of the repor [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety


Q: I recently looked at an article that states the new genetically modified wheat can silence wheat genes and can match human genes. This is a little concerning to me, seeing as I buy whole wheat bread and other products for my family to begin with. I have a

Answered By David Tribe Ph.D. - Nov 20, 2013

A: In Brief: Fortunately, recent research has proved this worrying claim to be false. Even before these recent findings, there was a huge amount of scientific evidence showing that RNA eaten in food in the diet is very unlikely to ever reach a human gene and bring about gene silencing in the human body (summarised here by the Australian food safety regulator FSANZ   Answer: Whole grain foods and food fiber are good for your h [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety


Q: Today, someone tweeted the following: "Did you know? With the introduction of GMOs in our food, pesticide use went from 1.5 million pounds in 1999 to 90 million pounds in 2011." Is this accurate and/or can you clarify?

Answered By David Tribe Ph.D. - Dec 19, 2013

A: Moderator: A very thorough assessment of this research is linked here and highlights several flaws, inaccuracies, assumptions, and misleading use of data (available here): A review and assessment of ‘Impact of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the US – the first sixteen years: Benbrook C (2012)’ –Environmental Sciences Europe vol 24: 24 (September 2012); Graham Brookes, PG Economics, UK; Janet Carpenter, J E Carpenter Consulting LLC; Dr Alan McHughen, University of California, Riverside For a synopsis, Dr. David Tribe drafted the following for his blog, GMO Pundit. In [...]

Environment Crop protectants