GMO, The Canary Not in the Coal Mine

Gem, the GMO cow

Gem, the GMO cow

Some dangers are simply unknowable, but it could help to look

By Robin Rowe

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Gosh!TV) 2016/4/3 – In The Canary article, Why aren’t genetically engineered animals making it to our plate?“, Kathryn Loydall says, “So far, genetically modified foods have been proven to be safe….” and even links to a paper that she thinks supports such a conclusion.

Let’s hope that before becoming a scientist or a journalist, every student is taught in school that nothing can be proven to be safe. Even without the benefit of higher education, people have the common sense to realize it’s impossible to say you’ve anticipated every possible negative outcome. Only the lack of safety can be proven, and that proof may be in hindsight after an unanticipated accident occurs. To be safe, the USDA says no milk from Gem, the GMO cow, is about to be served.

Have there been no accidents or incidents with GMO? How safe is GMO? Nobody knows if we don’t look. One way to prevent reporting accidents or keep them from being linked to the cause, if it’s GMO, is to not label GMO, to make it impossible to trace it.

In a GMO article from the Genetic Literacy Project, their GMO expert volunteers that it is possible to make GMOs unsafe deliberately with “malicious intent”. So everyone seems to agree GMO isn’t inherently safe.

As proof of food industry safety, GMO advocates offer incidents of past close calls. An allergen was introduced into food crops in the lab. That the Brazil nut soy allergen didn’t get out of the lab is their “proof” that our food system is safe. However, by this logic, every time a nuclear reactor has an incident that doesn’t result in a meltdown, nuclear power is proven safe. Although some think differently, many people consider a near miss a wake-up call.

Corn and soybeans have been genetically modified to withstand higher levels of toxins, so it isn’t only GMOs but traces of insecticides and pesticides in food. Safety studies with combinations of factors like this are difficult to correlate and rarely attempted, however the results we do have don’t suggest safety.

People who want to think so will consider GMO proven safe. Like pro-nuclear evangelists believed nuclear power was proven safe. Until the first big meltdown.

If GMO has a big meltdown, that is, destroys a major food source, the costs will vastly exceed the profits agribusiness has made off GMOs. To understand the kind of costs we’re looking at as a society, consider the Irish Potato Famine of 1845-1852 and the Russian Wheat Famine of 1921.

While agribusiness reaps huge profits from GMOs, farmers still struggle. Just 17% of the cost of a loaf of bread goes to wheat.

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