Where did all these anti-science cranks come from?
With an increasingly educated population, you’d think Oregon would be moving more toward rational, science-based thinking, but agenda-driven ideologues are pushing hard in the other direction.
Kari Chisholm, a Democratic political operative and founder of BlueOregon, a progressive political blog, sent me a message the other day urging me to sign a petition pledging to vote YES this fall on Measure 92. The measure would require that all raw food and packaged food that is entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering be labeled. Kari said he wants GMO labeling because when he eats junk food he can’t tell whether there’s anything genetically engineered in there.
He’d probably be better off just not eating junk food and leaving the rest of us alone. He’d be healthier and the rest of us wouldn’t have to deal with his anti-science GMO labeling blather.
The fact is, there is NO credible scientifically-based evidence that genetically engineered products are unsafe. As Pamela Ronald, a UC-Davis plant geneticist, noted in the Scientific American: “After 14 years of cultivation and a cumulative total of 2 billion acres planted, no adverse health or environmental effects have resulted from commercialization of genetically engineered crops.”
As a fallback, knowing that the science isn’t with them, the GMO labeling advocates say we need labeling because we need to know what’s in our food. A friend of mine without any scientific knowledge on the issue recently told me that alone is a reason to support Measure 92. But it’s not.
That’s because the argument is a smokescreen. The anti-science labeling advocates’ agenda is really to create the appearance of danger. As the editors of Scientific American have said, “…mandatory GMO labels would only intensify the misconception that so-called Frankenfoods endanger people’s health.”
The fact is, GMOs are as safe as other foods. If the labeling proponents are determined not to consume genetically engineered products, they can buy “100 Percent Organic” products and leave the rest of us alone.
Everybody and their brother with real expertise on the issue has concluded that genetically engineered products are safe. This includes the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, the American Society for the Advancement of Science, The National Academy of Sciences, The Royal Society of Medicine, The French Society of Science, The European Commission, The Union of German Academics of Sciences and Humanities, and on and on.
But the ill-informed anti-science GMO Chicken-Littles just keep going. After all, they’ve already convinced far too many gullible people that fluoride and vaccines are dangerous. Why stop now?