AirTalk for January 22, 2014

Is the anti-GMO crowd ignoring science?

Activists Protests Against The Agriculture Industry's Lobby Influence Over Congress

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Activists protest against agricultural biotech company Monsanto outside the White House on March 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. Monsanto, which engineers genetically modified seeds, recently benefited from a section buried in the latest budget bill that allows the agribusiness giant to plant genetically-modified crops without judicial review to determine whether or not their crops are safe.

In recent years, there’s been a groundswell of concern about the safety of genetically modified organisms (G.M.Os) in the food supply and efforts across the country to require mandatory labeling on G.M.O. food products.

Consumer advocacy groups protest companies who produce G.M.O. crops. More than half of all Americans believe that genetically modified foods are unsafe, according to a 2013 ABC News poll--and advocate groups are calling for more investigation into G.M.O. health risks.

But within the scientific community there is a general consensus that there is no evidence suggesting GMOs are harmful to eat and much of the science often cited by those concerned about GMOs has been discredited.

Does the anti-G.M.O. movement ignore science?  Or is the science not clear enough to alleviate their long-term health worries? Is enough research being devoted to measuring the safety of GMO crops? How should scientific findings and people’s concerns be weighed as states push labeling measures?

Guests:

Amy Harmon, reporter for the New York Times

Pamela Ronald, co-author of Tomorrow’s Table UC Davis

Bill Freese, staff scientist at the Center for Food Safety


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