VIDEO: On GMOs, if the informed and the users don’t get out and talk, who will?

The enemies of genetically modified organisms, like almost all the canola farmers like you grow, have high profiles and dominate the public debate about GMOs.

The millions of informed researchers, scientists, science teachers, people with BSCs and even many farmers who have studied genetics have a much quieter voice.

That’s a big reason that anti-GMO sentiment tends to dominate the public’s view about GMOs. Members of the urban public seem to either not care one way or the other about GMOs, or be opposed to them. Few seem to be outright supportive.

That’s not great for the future of agricultural progress, and more of the supporters of GMOs need to get out there and combat some of the outright misinformation being peddled by some opponents.

Some scientists and others have had the guts to weigh in to the debate in recent years, which isn’t easy for them considering the trashing they often receive as a result. But they do it because they think it’s important to speak what they see as the scientific truth.

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Here’s a video of two public sector scientists – one Canadian and one American – who recently addressed GMO and science-in-food issues at an event I covered at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals at the University of Manitoba.

It’s hard to push back against simplistic misrepresentations when the truth is complex and difficult to simply describe, but some continue to do it.

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  • RobertWager
    • Dayton

      I believe Science is only as good as it’s credible independently reviewed source.

  • Terry

    This article fails to mention that roundup is now in everything. Even mothers breastmilk

    • Kevin Folta

      Well Terry, that’s what a non-peer-reviewed website from a group notorious for bogus data told you. You don’t have to believe it. How would round up (glyphosate) get there? It is used in tiny amounts before plants flower. Even then, it is rarely detected on the crop by routine USDA surveys and then only at non-relevant levels <20ppm. After that, there's processing etc where it would be lost/diluted. The levels "detected" by that website are not possible if you do the math. Now if you really wanted to scare someone about chemicals, where would you say you found them? If you guessed "breast milk" you win!

      I'm always glad to answer your questions. Anytime.

      • richard

        Well Kevin youre wrong yet again, and youre an agribiz expert?…..Roundup is used commonly as a defoliant in cereals and pulses…..Yeah, right at harvest….right into the germ plasm….and right into the foodstream…… Now if you really wanted to pacify someone on the safety of food where would you say glyphosate is used irresponsibly……If you said everywhere you would win! …… I’m always glad to help you get your facts straight Kevin…..anytime.

  • Caroline

    It’s not just about GMOs which are engineered to NOT DIE from massive doses of toxic pesticides. It’s about the amount of chemical pesticides in our air, water and food. And now the GMO pushers are calling toxic pesticides as “low-impact.” That’s laughable.

    • Warren Lauzon

      You are seriously ignorant about the entire subject it seems. You keep claiming that pesticide use is increasing and massive, even though all statistics show it dropping or unchanging.

    • Mommy Warrior

      As soon as I see someone name calling to another for their views, it pretty much gives me a heads up about their moral character and how one communicates with others. I know this topic is quite heated, but the name calling is always a give away about where this debate is headed.

      • For the record, Mommy Warrior, I don’t stand for name calling within the bounds of this forum. If it’s Mr. Lauzon and his use of the word “ignorant” that you’re referring to he may be pushing the boundaries of civil debate slightly. It’s my preference that all the opinions put forth here address the ISSUE, not the individual holding them. You are correct when you say this topic lends itself to heated debate – however, in my humble opinion, DEBATE is the only way forward. Whether you believe in farming organically or using every modern advantage at your disposal we are FARMERS ALL, first and foremost. Let’s keep our debate respectful.
        Cheers,
        Paul – WP web editor

        • Mommy Warrior

          I completely agree. Thank you Paul!

    • Kevin Folta

      Caroline, what do you consider a “massive dose”? Can you please tell me, how much is in the “massive dose”, when it is applied to the crop, how much is present in a final product (at highest USDA detected rates), what biological thresholds are, and how many kilos of soybeans you’d have to eat to get to those levels? Thanks. I think the exercise would be mind blowing for you. If you’d like help with that I’m glad to help. kf

  • Mommy Warrior

    Safe or not safe, the issue with GMOs for the every day consumer is transparency and the choice to choose if we would like to feed our families GMOs. We get to choose if we want salt or no salt, 2% or fat free milk, original or lite… so why in the world is there SO much push back from these scientists when it comes to labeling? If GMOs are safe and so great, wonderful, label it so the consumer can buy it, if the other way around, perfect, label it so the consumer can buy it. The consumer is not trying to stop the science, the science is trying to stop the transparency from the consumer.

    • GMO Joe

      I would say the issue has NOT been about transparency. It’s been about scaring people for economic gain. You would have to acknowledge that the vast majority of the anti-GMO messages have originated with the organic food industry, who, quite coincidentally profit by convincing people that GMOs are harmful. They profit by selling us higher priced goods, which they claim are the only way to completely avoid GMOs. I’ve seen the organic industry link GMOs to cancer, autism, IBS, allergies — anything that will scare people. Yes, we tell people about what ingredients are in a product. We don’t specify how they were created or raised. GM is not an ingredient — it’s a process. And when every major, independent medical and scientific organization says GMOs are no different than other food I believe it — and I certainly don’t trust the organic food industry to tell me the truth about their competitors.

      • Mommy Warrior

        Ummm… I don’t think so. Haven’t you noticed Joe, more and more organic are in the stores? Even Costco carries organic and guess what? It’s the same price and sometimes CHEAPER than the non-organic. Even WalMart is doing organic and driving the prices down. How do I know? I’m the 85% of the consumer market that does the shopping… the Moms, and WE Moms want a label so we can decide if we want GMOs or not.

        • goodlookingYetIntelligent

          You might find an obscure example where organic is cheaper, it probably has hit its expiry date and needs to be moved quickly. But it’s not logical to think that something can be produced using heavy tillage passes or manual labor to control weeds, exponentially more diesel fuel, and achieve 40 – 70 % less yield, and be cheaper. That is misleading to suggest that.

          • Mommy Warrior

            Do you people shop? LOL Geez, organic foods are all over the place now and it’s NOT expired, it’s looking pretty fresh to me. Open up your eyes, the organic section in the markets are growing by leaps and bounds, even in Hawaii where food comes from out of state! The Costco in Hawaii is LOADED with organic and it is CHEAPER. Misleading? No, smart shopper, that’s what I am…

      • Caroline

        GMO is an ingredient. Genetically Engineering or biotechnology is a process but “ORGANISM” is an ingredient. Kindly explain to me why the rates of autoimmune diseases, autism, IBS, allergies….have skyrocketed in the past 20 years.

        • goodlookingYetIntelligent

          Longevity and the number of centurians per capita has never been higher in 2000 years. The cancer survival rate has never been higher in 2000 years. Almost all sports records have been set in the past ten years. Using your reasoning it seems this must all be due to GMO’s. Why would you want to increase deaths from cancer by banning GMO’s?

  • Denise

    Mr. Lauzon: I don’t know where you get your statistics to back up your argument but anyone interested in finding out the truth need only google:
    Is pesticide use increasing?

    Herbicide use has increased by insidious amounts, in the last nine years, in an attempt to control the increasing numbers of herbicide-resistant weeds (about a dozen now).
    The next leap is to introduce 2,4-D along with Monsanto Roundup (Enlist Duo) to combat the problem. It is estimated there will be a 50% increase in herbicide use with this next attempt to try and out-do Mother Nature.
    Instead of fighting against nature ,we should trying to find ways to work with nature.
    if we don’t, guess who is going to lose?

    • richard

      Denise youre being baited by missionaries for agribiz….and “truthiness” is the currency. We both know that figures dont lie….but liars figure……and right now agribiz is trying desperately to reconcile a massive PR disaster of twenty years and longer….Altered fits of aggression, contradiction and denial will be the order of the day….. Anyone who drives down a highway on the prairies from April to October will witness the fact that the $300,000,00 high clearance sprayer is the most important piece of machinery on every modern industrial farm. And there is not one producer out there who will deny this……Nor is there one informed citizen out there who believes pesticide use will decline. Sadly the environment and human health are the victims of agriculture trying to do and end run around natural law……