More fuel to the GMO debate

A new report that some might have hoped would dampen the debate on genetically modified foods (GMOs)  gave each side something to be happy about and so likely doesn’t change the contentious nature of GMOs, according to media reports this week.

Here's what food labels could look like in Vermont-- noting GMOs-- unless Congress moves to stop it.
Here’s what food labels could look like in Vermont– noting GMOs.

The report Tuesday from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, said GMOs are safe to eat, something critics don’t believe, but it also said using them isn’t helping U.S. crop yields all that much because weeds and pests are adapting to them, as is nature’s way.

The report summary said that “On the basis of its review of the evidence on health effects, the committee does not believe that mandatory labeling of foods with GE content is justified to protect public health, but it noted that the issue involves social and economic choices that go beyond technical assessments of health or environmental safety; ultimately, it involves value choices that technical assessments alone cannot answer,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Some questioned why the report didn’t get into the health effects of using increasing amounts of herbicides on U.S. crops.

While backers of GMOs, like see maker Monsanto, applauded the report, it’s not going to quiet critics of GMOs or stop calls for GMO labeling on food products. I’ve said in the past GMOs don’t worry me particularly, but if people want food labels to say exactly what’s in them, then why not label for GMOs? As I said, the issue is far from settled.

John

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