Some GMO advocates say Bill Nye isn’t the Science Guy.

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Climate scientists and evolutionary biologists love Bill Nye.

Keith Kloor, at his Discover blog Collide-a-Scape, describes him as a “stalwart defender of evolution and climate science” who “relishes verbal debate” and has “become known for taking on creationists and climate skeptics.”

But Nye hasn’t fared nearly as well with defenders of genetically engineered foods. According to Kloor, a 2005 episode of Nye’s television show that looked at genetically engineered crops split defenders of GMOs, some of whom thought he mischaracterized the science while others thought he was right to address the fears.

Kloor isn’t terribly fond of Nye’s position on GMOs, although he mostly criticizes Nye for sins of omission. He quotes a recent reddit exchange in which Nye wrote, in part, “I stand by my assertions that although you can know what happens to any individual species that you modify, you cannot be certain what will happen to the ecosystem.”

That doesn’t strike me as especially controversial, but Kloor was disappointed:

Hmm. It’s interesting that Nye doesn’t bother to express disapproval at the incessant fear-mongering and misinformation that has polluted the public discourse on GMOs–a main point raised by the questioner. Nye could have acknowledged this unfortunate state of affairs and even perhaps mentioned that all the world’s major science bodies and institutions have looked carefully at the technology and not found it harmful to human health or the environment. That alone would have meant a lot coming from someone with his stature.

Instead, he avoids the main thrust of the questioner’s comment, invokes an absolutist version of the precautionary principle (rebutted effectively here in the case of GMOs) and closes with some odd remarks about malnourished fat people and an image of him stroking his chin.

Where Kloor writes that “all the world’s major science bodies and institutions” have concluded that agricultural biotechnology is not harmful, he links to a blog post in which Ramez Naam, who identifies himself as a computer scientist and futurist, talks about the safety of GMOs, and cites some of the science bodies that have evaluated the safety of GMOs.

The problem with Kloor’s post–and with many of the reports, blog posts, and reports reassuring us about the safety of GMOs–is that the science is always a little bit more complicated than the blanket assertions of safety would have us believe.

On Nov. 10, Kloor published an open letter to Nye from a plant scientistKevin Folta at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Folta wrote, “Over almost two decades, agricultural biotechnology has shown to safely and effectively aid farmers, and offers future promise to deliver higher quality food, more sustainably.”

There is the blanket assertion again: Twenty years of research, and all is well.

The link under “has shown” goes to a 2010 report by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science. Naam cites the same report, entitled “The Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States.” It is cited often, and it is often used as the cornerstone of arguments that genetically modified foods are safe.

But its findings are much more subtle and much more complicated than that. They are far from a blanket defense of GMOs.

Many of the key findings are favorable for GMOs, as summarized at the top of the report: “In general, the committee finds that genetic-engineering technology has produced substantial net environmental and economic benefits to U.S. farmers compared with non-GE crops in conventional agriculture.”

But the summary goes on. “However, the benefits have not been universal; some may decline over time; and the potential benefits and risks associated with the future development of the technology are likely to become more numerous as it is applied to a greater variety of crops.” Furthermore, “the social effects of agricultural biotechnology have largely been unexplored, in part because of an absence of support for research on them.”

That is far from a blanket assertion of the safety of GMO foods. And as the report breaks down the findings in more detail, it raises other concerns: The reliance on crops engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate is now reducing glyphosate’s effectiveness. The potential risk of engineered alterations moving to weeds may increase as the traits are introduced into more crops. The effect of genetically engineered crops on prices received by farmers “is not completely understood.” How the use of GMOs affects non-GMO producers has “not received adequate research.”

And this:

Research on the dissemination of earlier technological development in agriculture suggests that favorable and unfavorable social impacts exist from the dissemination of genetic-engineering technology. However, these impacts have not been identified or analyzed.

I’m cherry picking the negative findings; most were positive. But the point I’m making is that we should not characterize this report as showing that GMOs are safe or that all of the necessary research on GMOs has been done.

Science writers would do well to be careful when they characterize this and other reports on the safety of GMOs. It’s fine for Kloor and others to question Bill Nye, or me, or anyone. But Nye’s beliefs or statements are not the main issue. What’s important is not what he thinks, but that when we write about GMOs, we get the science–and the qualifiers–right.

-Paul Raeburn

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119 comments / Join the Discussion

    I’ve seen that episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy. A lot of what he says in it is factually incorrect. One glaring error that comes to mind- he claimed that inserting a gene from a donor organism into a host plant’s DNA results in an entirely new species of plant. I like Bill Nye, and he may be a science guy, but a horticulturalist he is not.

    -However, the benefits have not been universal; some may decline over time.

    Hardly a flaw that is unique to GMOs and no indication of safety issues.

    – the potential benefits and risks associated with the future development of the technology are likely to become more numerous as it is applied to a greater variety of crops

    Again, hardly an indictment, and seems pretty neutral in net effect. Also conjecture, as additional crops added so far have shown no increased risk over adding any new crop variety.

    -the social effects of agricultural biotechnology have largely been unexplored, in part because of an absence of support for research on them.

    What other technology is expected to explore social effects before being deployed. Computers? Cell phones? Certainly those have had greater negative social effects (computers – inactivity and obesity, cell phones – distracted driving) than any GMO product to date. Including adding to many of the negative health effects GMOs often get blamed for.

    -That is far from a blanket assertion of the safety of GMO foods.

    It would be suspect if it was. Neither does it raise issues of great concern relative to safety.

    -The reliance on crops engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate is now reducing glyphosate’s effectiveness.

    Resistance to glyphosate has occurred in non-GE crops, as it has for every herbicide developed to date. Not a safety issue. Even with higher rates of use, residues do not exceed allowable tolerance levels

    -The potential risk of engineered alterations moving to weeds may increase as the traits are introduced into more crops.

    Definitely a possibility, but also possible with non-GE crops.

    -The effect of genetically engineered crops on prices received by farmers “is not completely understood.”

    Other than unwarranted rejections by some countries for political reasons, delayed approval for the same reasons, or unnecessary labeling requirements, no less understood than for any other crop.

    -How the use of GMOs affects non-GMO producers has “not received adequate research.”

    For non-GE producers, I assume you mean primarily organic or non-GMO Project growers, this would not be an issue if they followed the same procedures of isolation, border plantings, and staggered plantings that any other producer of identity preserved, or certified seed crops have to deal with all the time.

    -I’m cherry picking the negative findings; most were positive. But the point I’m making is that we should not characterize this report as showing that GMOs are safe or that all of the necessary research on GMOs has been done.

    And most had nothing to do with GMO safety. And it would be easier to do the research on GE crops if there wasn’t an organized effort to destroy crop trials and deny research planting permits in the belief that doing so will prevent positive results that would gain acceptance among the public, as has been stated by many of those opposing the approval of Golden Rice.

    Show me the study that tests the safety of glyphosate exposure in terms of disruption of the population dynamics of the mammalian gut microbiome. If you can show me that study i’ll be amazed and i’ll eat a lot of my words to date. I’ve been looking and do not see such a study, so for me glyphosate is not “safe”.

    I am highly interested in exposing the testing methods used to provide sufficient evidence in regards to biotech approvals… Something along the lines of understanding how much information is needed to approve it as a “fact”. The microbiological science terminology and how deep do the roots truly go to make the claim that biotech products are “safe”…

    In the beginning of a medical school study program they start with something along these lines saying … Every product is toxic…

    These guys are only regurgitating points that make sense but are clearly insufficient… We need to come up with a list pointing exactly why it is insufficient and how their confirmation biased facts are not enough to deem something “safe”… especially being MAN MADE…

    They continue to say oh even water is toxic … but its not man made…

    Do you understand where I am going with this???

    Let’s look at where Nye was posting: On a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread where celebrities/people of interest appear so that the public can ask them questions. Not necessarily the best place for Nye to make a nuanced argument about the safety/concerns of GMOs. He had thousands of other questions to attend to–that’s the nature of a Reddit AMA.

    Yes, I think his past coverage of GMOs is troublesome. But that was before we knew as much as we know today. Because he’s such a public and well known figure, I would be thrilled to see him communicate his thoughts on the matter, and I’d hope that’d he’d advocate for the safety and benefits of GMOs. But if he has legitimate concerns that are based in science (and not bullshit about GMOs causing autism, etc) I’d hope he’d also communicate those as well.

    maybe if Monsanto, with its sordid background and all removed itself from the GMO field, they’d be more accepted. Even GMO supporters dont like Monsanto, its background or its tactics.

    While GMO have been proven not to be dangerous overall, Monsanto and their prior history and agenda IS in question. Especially since glyphosate is no longer as effective as it once was (for the same reason that bacteria have gained immunity against many antibiotics and we need to get them out of our farms). Even GMO supporters see the dangers of a Monsanto monopoly, and want no part of it. I took this off of Monsanto’s own website (dont they ever read?) while the article is pro GMO it does poke holes in Monsanto’s propaganda that their products need less dangerous pesticides. As a matter of fact, Dow and Monsanto could have used much less dangerous pesticides than one of the two main ingredients of Agent Orange, but they chose to use the one they can make the most money from (patent):

    http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/nutrition/gmo-facts/

    But less than 20 years later, over a dozen weeds have developed resistance to glyphosate, meaning that farmers have to use more of it, as well as other more hazardous chemicals such as 2,4-D, a powerful herbicide linked to reproductive problems and birth defects, says Chuck Benbrook, PhD, a research professor at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. On the basis of 16 years of pesticide data, collected since GMOs were introduced, Benbrook predicts that use of 2,4-D will increase more than fourfold in the next decade, spurred by new GMO crops. “Twenty years from now we will look back and deeply regret the misuse and mismanagement of current-generation GMO technology,” he says.

    This is Agent Orange, the same carcinogen that Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, et. al, poisoned Vietnam and our soldiers with. Now they are trying to patent it as their new pesticide- this is the part everyone should be paying attention to

    These are also interesting reads- illustrative of what may happen in the future

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/03/08/148227668/insect-experts-issue-urgent-warning-on-using-biotech-seeds

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/12/05/143141300/insects-find-crack-in-biotech-corns-armor

    Note how scientists differed with Monsanto’s assessments and guess who the “regulators” listened to (and you can probably guess why- conflict of interest when they are allowed to be on the regulatory agencies.)

    http://fieldquestions.com/2012/02/12/bt-cotton-remarkable-success-and-four-ugly-facts/

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/11/us-gmo-science-idUSKCN0IV24C20141111

    But critics of the products say that is not the last word on the issue.

    Some international scientists are challenging the assertion and say many scientific studies show concerns with crops whose DNA has been spliced in ways not seen in nature.

    On Tuesday, a group with backing from institutions in Russia, the United States and Europe said it would undertake the longest, largest and most definitive study of GMOs to date to try to settle the debate once and for all.

    The $25 million study of 6,000 rats to be fed a GMO corn diet is designed as an independent examination of the health impacts of GMO corn and the herbicide used on it. The research is to be done in Russia and western Europe over two to three years. (factorgmo.com/en/)

    “The science on these GMOs is not settled by a long shot,” said Bruce Blumberg, an endocrinology expert at the University of California, Irvine, who sits on the study review board. “Studies that were done by the manufacturers are the main ones showing safety, and those have an inherent conflict of interest.”

    he program is implemented by farmers to assess non-GMO product performance compared to the dominant GMO products on their farms. “Buying seed is an investment and we understand our seed products must offer additional returns. Last year, based on 120 replications of farmer-generated data, we found non-GMO hybrids out-yielded GMO hybrids by an average of 4.7 bushels per acre,” says Odle. And he adds, “This is why we see our PlotPak™ program as a critical component of our story. The purpose is to empower farmers and re-engage them in the decision making process.”

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/genetic-engineering-match-weed-resistance/

    http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110628006520/en/non-GMO-Corn-Farmers-Discover-Yield-Profits-Promote

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/02/why-do-g-m-o-s-need-protection/

    GMOs have not been prove dangerous because GMOs have not been rigorously tested. The number of illnesses they are contributing to is impossible to ascertain while they are hidden unlabeled, un-traced and most definitely not studied by proper methodology.

    There are plenty of countries that label, aren’t there dogktor? Can you show us the evidence from those countries that demonstrate any one of your claims?

    They better study the population of the gut microbiomes in those 6,000 rats. And the same needs to be done, especially, for glyphosate exposure, not GM biomass in particular. This is a gaping lacuna in the science.

    You want real science- I’ll give you real science not adulterated by those out to make money off the results

    I wish those who raise fears about transgenic organisms would put forth a putative mechanism for how their feared harms might come about. Other than modified crop species interbreeding with closely related weed species (canola crops in Canada have been reported to have interbred with wild brassicas, giving them glyphosate resistance), what would be a plausible mechanism arising from transgenic technology but not from conventional plant breeding?

    I concur, Boyce. Genes are selfish, mindless, and would already spread if they could. I am not talking just about transgenes, I am talking about *all* genes. What stops them now? And why would any of these biological barriers collapse in the face of a transgene? If you, the reader, have an answer, publish it in a solid peer-reviewed journal. If it is convincing, you will win the Nobel Prize.

    Another really interesting science aspect is the charge that bioenginered hybrids spread and ‘ruin’ nature. Of COURSE they spread, as does any hybrid. and of course they cause the surrounding ecosystem to adjust, as does any hybrid. And yes, cross-species genetic hybrids are human-made, not natural. but so are the hundreds of species of fruits and veggies we eat, AND NOW SELL AS ORGANIC, were created post WW 2 by blasting the hell out of the DNA with mutagenic radiation or chemicals and god knows what THAT did except make the apples redder or the tomatoes hardier. (BTW, the IAEA just gave awards for ongoing work on radiogenic plant mutation, the use of which is skyrokceting in Europe, where faremrs need new varieites and can’t use biotech to make them.) SUCH a great science tale to be told here, regardless of the fight over GMOs, which is really about values, not facts.

    Well, conventionally produced hybrids don’t spread. Their progeny revert to the parental types.

    But you are right about the “organic” label. You can fly it in a jet plane across half the planet, burning fossil fuel all the way, and still call it organic. Maybe so; fossil fuels are, chemically speaking, organic as well.

    Boyce, I think one simple example of just such a mechanism, unique to genetically modified foods, is one that I actually learned about thanks to you. It was at the first Knight “genes and cells” bootcamp you ran. It is the fact that no amount of conventional plant breeding could ever, for example, result in a shellfish antigen being expressed in a strawberry. Some people are allergic to shellfish, and severe allergies can kill. Somebody with a shellfish allergy would normally have no reason to worry about eating a strawberry, yet such strawberries were developed, though never distributed. It was for precisely that reason that Rudy Jaenisch made what I found to be a strong case at that bootcamp that labeling of GMO foods should be mandatory. Jaenisch, as the creator of the world’s first transgenic animal, obviously knows the subject well. But those who argue for such labeling are often branded as scientific know-nothings.

    I’m no expert, but it seems to me there might well be other possible mechanisms. The various techniques used to insert genes into DNA in the lab are all fundamentally different — mechanically, chemically and biologically –from ordinary cross-breeding. To me, it smacks of hubris to think we know yet that such differences in the process may not produce some differences in the resulting organisms — especially since these techniques are themselves, so to speak, evolving.

    To be clear, I am not making any claim as to whether or not GMO foods have any negative effects. But I do think that it’s incorrect for journalists to dismiss this as a case of settled science, like evolution or global warming, with no room for legitimate scientific debate. I don’t think the scientific basis for such claims of certainty exists at this point. And that’s essentially the statement for which Nye was being criticized.

    GMO Roundup Ready crops are engineered to NOT DIE from large doses of Roundup. If you use Roundup on non-GMO crops the crops will DIE. Roundup is systemic and is absorbed through the leaves and roots. Glyphosate the active ingredient in Roundup has been found in mothers’ breast milk and in our urine. .

    I don’t think “Caroline” understands what a mechanism is in this context.

    You may be the one that doesn’t understand, everything she said is absolutely true.

    Truth about one thing doesn’t answer other questions. And, by the way, if glyphosate is showing up in human urine, that means the body gets rid of the stuff. That’s a good thing. (Yes, colleagues, I know I’m baiting the trolls, but it annoys the hell out of me that people use this blog for other than discussion of science journalism. And I know I drifted from that purpose above. Gotta stop doing that.)

    Before it even gets to the urine it is in our blood stream doing who knows what kind of damage. It isn’t all being removed from our bodies and that is not a good thing.

    It’s also been shown in tests on breast milk, meaning it ISN’T leaving the body, but rather can be transmitted to infants via breast milk.

    Susan, your statement “The thousands of studies you refer to have been soundly debunked or didn’t you know?” flies in the face of what the vast preponderance of independent international science experts say about that same body of evidence. (for a short review, see Ramez Naam http://rameznaam.com/2013/04/28/the-evidence-on-gmo-safety/) Forgive me, but as someone trying to figure this issue out with as open a mind as possible, the analysis of those experts carries more weight with me, and I would suggest should carry more weight with society as it tries to figure out the pros and cons of the matter.

    Your link says not found when I click it. However, for someone trying to figure this out with an open mind you should consider that the majority of the medical and public health community question the medium and long term safety of GE foods and/or support labeling.

    Groups representing millions of members of the medical community consistently support mandatory labeling of GE ingredients in food.
    American College of Physicians.
    American Nurses Association.
    British Medical Association.
    Australian Medical Association.
    German Medical Association.
    and the majority of other medical groups support labeling.

    Australian Medical Association (AMA): “Genetically modified foods have been developed and introduced without regard for full and independent safety evaluation, or full and adequate public consultation or rigorous assessment of health impacts.”

    British Medical Association: “Many unanswered questions remain, particularly with regard to the potential long-term impact of GM foods on human health and on the environment. There is a lack of evidence-based research with regard to medium and long-term effects on health and the environment”

    Viennese Doctors’ Chamber (Ärztekammer für Wien): “Long-term analyses (over a period of at least 30 years) must be made in regard to nutritive, anti-nutritive, toxic and allergenic contents to establish unintended changes caused by the genetic modification.”

    Australia Public Health Association: “GM foods should not be assessed as safe to eat unless they have undergone long-term animal safety assessments utilizing endpoints relevant to human health and conducted by independent researchers.”

    Peru National Institute of Health/Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS): English translation: “The analysis of identified publications concluded that the scientific evidence is not sufficient to determine the consumption of GMO generates no adverse effects on human health.” In Spanish: “Del análisis de las publicaciones identificadas se concluye que la evidencia científica no es suficiente para determinar que el consumo de los AGM no genera efectos adversos en la salud humana.”

    American College of Physicians “Lack of labeling denies health professionals the ability to trace potential toxic or allergic reactions to, and other adverse health effects from, genetically engineered food” “the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) strongly encourage the study of the long-term impact of genetic engineering on the food supply and human health.”
    http://www.gmofreeusa.org/research/gmo-safety/

    No GMO,
    There are many voices on this issue, but my understanding is that the bulk of the voices regarding whether there is any evidence of known human health risks say, no, there isn’t. Other general worries about unknowns, or the need for longer term testing, or the effects on nature (as many hybrids have, by the way) are valid concerns of many of the groups you cite and need to be considered, of course. But the bulk of the evidence on whether the research so far has shown any evidence of human health harm is pretty clear. No it hasn’t.

    The bulk of the voices regarding whether there is any evidence of known human health risks does not say no. They say there is no way to know what the long term effects may be, there is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs. If you really do have an open mind then I assume you have nothing against labeling GMOs so everyone can make an informed choice and decide for themselves.

    David,
    The majority of the medical and public health community question the medium and long term safety of GE foods and/or support labeling. Those are the bulk of the voices that count when we are talking about health, and they disagree with you. Sure, you could find biased plant scientists, biotechnologists, etc. who have no health background that agree with you, but their voice means nothing in a conversation about health. There is really no human health testing, so it is easy to claim there is no harm when there is hardly any human evidence to look at. The majority of the medical community say we don’t know what the medium and long term effects of consuming GE foods will be. Which makes sense since the state of the science is we don’t have the evidence to conclude medium and long term safety yet, and when most applicable long term animal studies suggest potential adverse effects, it seems absurd to claim GE foods currently consumed are safe for medium and long term consumption at this point. It is pretty clear the bulk of the applicable long term studies don’t support your claim.

    Again, the evidence I cite is about risk so far. The evidence you cite is about speculative risks in the future, which can’t be ruled out for ANY risk, and is a fear often invoked to encourage opposition to something that is in fact based more on values than evidence. The evidence to date provides little basis for these future fears. And, it is simply trite to call all that evidence biased just because you don’t like what it says. Any decent journalist immediately recognizes that as advocacy and bias, undermining the reliability of those who make such sweeping claims. http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2013/10/massive-review-reveals-consensus-on-gmo-safety.html

    David,

    I’m talking about what the majority of the medical and public health community who are qualified to assess health say, and that is that we don’t have evidence to suggest GE foods are safe for medium and long term consumption. Claiming safety is an extraordinary claim and requires extraordinary evidence, yet there is virtually no human health data to look at so it is a complete joke for you to claim human safety based on a lack of evidence when there is hardly any human evidence to look at. As I said, the weight of the applicable long term animal studies suggest potential adverse impact. So to claim, “The evidence to date provides little basis for these future fears” is disingenuous at best.

    Let’s play a game, it’s called “What does the bulk of the applicable long term evidence really say?” The way the game is played is we cite the relevant long term studies and whoever has the most(the weight of the evidence) is basing their opinion on science and whoever is going against the weight of the evidence is being anti-science. The rules are only individual studies count, no reviews or articles, etc. Long term means six months or longer. Relevant means subjects comparable to humans so rodents and pigs. Only studies that look at real health parameters count so not carcass weight, milk production, transgene degradation, etc. and of course GE foods currently consumed by most humans only. Since you claimed, “The evidence to date provides little basis for these future fears” this must mean you have some applicable long term evidence to support your claim so I’ll let you go first. Backing out of the game means your position is not based on science but on your own “belief”. If you don’t respond and start playing the game I’ll take it as you don’t have the evidence to support your claims.

    1. I disagree that your sources are ‘the majority of the medical and public health community qualified to assess”
    2. again, you refer back to longer term unknowns and refuse to address that findings of what IS known so far.
    3. No one is claiming safety, only that no human health risks have been shown in the overwhelming bulk of the studies that HAVE been done to date.
    4. which of course disagrees with your claim of ‘hardly any evidence.’ Some pretty qualified independent sources seem to disagree with your claim there.
    5. Major quarrel with your read that the weight of the “applicable (according to you) evidence suggests potential adverse impact.
    6. Again, you make this about long term unknowns, and decline to address the findings of most scientists in the field, far more expert than me, that no harm has been found to date.
    Forgive me, but as the government officials in the UK who testified on this today stated, and as I have written, and as your persistent refusal to address the evidence about harm to date makes clear, this is a discussion that’s really about values. Which makes it pointless to discuss about these facts. If you want to discuss those values, terrific. They’re important too.

    1. So your argument is “I disagree”. You have no actual evidence, you just disagree? I gave you references with groups representing millions of members of the medical and public health community and you haven’t posted any references(that work) with any medical and public health groups and your argument is just that you disagree?

    2. I am asking you to compare the applicable long term animal studies, that is the evidence we have so far. It is YOU who wants to ignore that evidence.

    3. What human studies? Please post these applicable human studies for me otherwise you are just making things up.

    4. You posted nothing here just your “belief”.

    5. So you refuse to compare studies and you just don’t “believe” the weight of the applicable long term animal studies suggest potential adverse impact.

    6. What are you talking about, you haven’t posted a single human study so your claim is “make believe” until you show some evidence.

    You were asked to compare the weight of the applicable long term animal studies, because I am not really aware of any applicable human health studies. You responded by saying you just disagree with me, which means your position is not based on science but on your own “belief”. Since you provided no evidence I’ll take it as you don’t have the evidence to support your claims. This is where your claims are anti-science.

    1. See this for just one compilation of evidence. http://rameznaam.com/2013/04/28/the-evidence-on-gmo-safety/ Dig into links there, if you choose.
    This one is a rich resource in and of itself http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07388551.2013.823595
    AAAS statement; http://www.aaas.org/sites/default/files/AAAS_GM_statement.pdf
    2. Re: long term evidence…sorry, I don’t see it as nearly as threatening as you do, and it does not undermine what we know so far.
    3. Forgive me, but as I suggested, this debate is not really about the facts but about the perception of those facts through lenses that lead us to see the facts the way we do. Glad to engage in productive conversation, but this one doesn’t feel that way to me.

    1. This doesn’t support your claim… Did you even look at it?

    NAS? Just look at this report. BOARD ON AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES this report include, “GARY F. HARTNELL,Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Missouri” so this report has bias. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12804&page=R6 This report also includes authors like PETER H. RAVEN, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis who has a library named after him in the Monsanto Center! http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/plant-science/plant-science/resources/raven-library.aspx

    I’ll stick with the majority of the medical and public health community who actually understand health and don’t have Monsanto and friends involved in their reports!

    AAAS? LOL! chair of the board is a biotechnologist who has formerly worked for the biotech companies Evogene as well as Sigma-Aldrichhttp://people.equilar.com/bio/nina-fedoroff-sigma-aldrich/salary/650672#.UmC950nD_ui
    The rest of the board includes another biased biotechnologist, an astrophysicist, an entrepreneur and a psychologist! LOL!

    I’ll stick with the majority of the medical and public health community who actually understand health!

    AMA(American Medical Association) : report states, “To better detect potential harms of bioengineered foods, the Council believes that pre-market safety assessment should shift from a voluntary notification process to a mandatory requirement.”

    Obviously the AMA thinks the U.S. regulations are not good enough with regards to ability to, “detect potential harms of bioengineered foods”
    Either way that is one medical group with 200,000+ members(many of those are just subscribers to their journal), I gave you groups representing millions of members of the medical community. Just one medical group on the list I gave, the GMA, has over 430,000 physicians as members.

    One scientist at the European Commission? Are you serious? That is your evidence!

    Royal Society of Medicine : this quote originates in an article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and not from the Royal Society of Medicine.
    In the same journal there is a response from medical researcher David Schubert, which points out numerous errors in this article and states, “‘GM crops consumed… with no reported ill effects’ – therefore they are safe. This statement is illogical and the conclusion is not valid. There is no assay and there is no epidemiology. If any GM food product did cause harm it would be impossible to pick up within the constant background of disease, particularly since in the USA, the biggest consumer, there are no labelling requirements.”http://jrs.sagepub.com/content/101/9/435.2.full

    The French Supreme Court? Are you serious or are you just playing a cruel joke?

    Nicolia is not a systematic review. If you actually read the article it doesn’t include the majority of the papers listed on their list so most of their list does not seem to be included in their review including numerous studies and even letters the editor, etc. that either observed problems or are questioning the safety of GE foods, crops, etc. Most importantly, since this is not a systematic review, all it is really is the opinion of 4 biased authors who are either biased biotechnologists or members of the pro-GMO group SIGA. They have no health, environmental, etc. background that I can tell and so all we have is their biased, unqualified opinion based on cherry picked references from their list. Biased nonsense is not what was asked for.

    So all you have is one medical group that kind of agrees with you? That definitely isn’t the majority! So like I said your claim is based on your “belief” and not the evidence.

    2. You haven’t even looked at the applicable long term animal studies so this is all based on your “belief” and not the evidence.

    3. This conversation is about facts for me, but about “belief” for you. You “disagree” about what the majority of medical and public health groups say, but when asked for evidence that supports your disagreement you could only provide one group, sort of. When asked to compare the applicable long term evidence you refused and instead just talk about your “belief”.

    I do agree with you on one thing though, this conversation has not been productive. This conversation has just you making claims based on your “belief” and you refusing to look at the evidence.

    Glyphosate which accompanies Roundup Ready crops and also is increasingly present in non-GM crops as “burndown” and preharvest application becomes more common. kills plants by shutting down the shikimic acid pathway, which is also present in the microbes and fungi and archaea in our guts, in the human microbiome that is integral to our bodily integrity. Therefore, ingesting microgram amounts of this substance chronically could and probably does affect the functioning of our guts as well as the population balance between microbes that are more and less susceptible to the chemical.

    Having read hundreds of peer reviewed GMO studies, the recurring theme in all of the studies reporting absence of harm is shameful lack of scientific rigor. Standard of Evidence Based Medicine in trials are blinded studies, of which there is not a single ONE in the entire body of GMO science.

    The standard for safety studies agreed upon by all the regulators are 90 day rodent feeding trials, which some Monsanto-associated people are arguing shouldn’t be done at all, in spite of the flagrant deficiencies in those which have been conducted to date. Below you will find a dissection of one of these statutory studies which serves as a template for other safety studies and has been cited in pivotal GMO reviews. What you’ll find is superficial science designed not to find adverse effects by use of extraordinarily small sample sizes, periods of study too short to uncover chronic effects, omission of vital metabolic function tests and publication of test results for less than half the rats. So based on Monsanto’s OWN science, the burden of proof of absence of harm has not been met. http://beachvethospital.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/dear-food-and-chemical-toxicology.html

    The Science Guy, Bill Nye is absolutely right! I am comforted by the fact that Medical Doctors are beginning to evaluate the science. Here you go:

    http://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-gmos-safe-the-case-of-roundup-ready-soy/

    I have a medical degree and read peer reviewed science on GMOs- his 180 was prompted by visiting Monsanto.

    He certainly didn’t change his mind because he had a scientific revelation…more like he needed to drum up some sales for an irrelevant book- being that his 15 minutes of fame were decades ago. Pathetic move, really- he just made himself completely irrelevant except as a gauche trophy Monsanto will hang on their wall along with other useless and meaningless awards.

    You sound like a conspiracy theorist. And you with a medical degree should know that having a medical degree doesn’t make you a scientist. I don’t think you are qualified to evaluate research on GMO by any measure.

    Me with my medical and biochemistry degree certainly do make me a scientist…science is simply a systematic methodical search for knowledge- of which you have none.
    Good Bye! Have a fantastic life– go learn something useful.

    I’m a PhD scientist doing research, so I think that makes me much more qualified than you to evaluate research. Why do you think it is that all the major science bodies in the US and the world have released reviews stating that the GMO fearmongering has no basis in scientific evidence?

    Your PhD doesn’t make you an expert on animals–which all GMO studies are tested, while I am one.

    Try again- phD don’t impress me one iota. You haven’t shown any evidence of comprehending primary literature….it takes devoting effort to read science- unlike the lazy “scientists” who spew worn out tropes & inflammatory propaganda. If anyone is fearmongering its GMO advocates-scared of loss of profits.

    Bye Bye phD. I hope your publications are among the thousands of esoteric papers sitting around collecting dust for eternity.

    You don’t sound like you have a medical nor a biochemistry degree. You also don’t seem to understand genetics. Animal tests all show there are no problems with gmos… except a few run by activists which were thoroughly debunked. You certainly have not read “hundreds of peer reviewed studies”. Your just a silly activist. Tell me about how the nuclear power plant by my house is giving my kids cancer. I dare you.

    Bill Nye, whose formal training is in mechanical engineering (B.S. Cornell 1977), is an entertainer. He is no more qualified to render opinions on scientific matters than the average science writer.

    I applaud his efforts to battle ignorance, but let’s let’s not automatically give his opinions more credence than they deserve.

    Boyce,

    You write: “let’s not automatically give his opinions more credence than they deserve.”

    That train has passed. He’s a pop culture phenom. His latest book, which includes erroneous information about GMOs, is now #8 on the NYT best-seller list. He may be an “entertainer” to you, but he’s commonly thought of as “a hardened warrior for science on cable news programs and speaking tours of colleges and universities around the United States,” as the NYT recently wrote. (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/04/science/in-undeniable-bill-nye-speaks-evolution-directly-to-creationists.html?_r=0)

    My point being: Someone held up as a science defender ought to at least represent the science on agricultural biotechnology accurately if he’s not going to defend it the way he defends climate science and evolution.

    And Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist, yet he has opined on many other scientific subjects. As did Carl Sagan and a long list of pop science stars. (BTW, Jenny McCarthy’s credentials were Google U and, well…) So technically your argument is correct, Boyce, but realistically, these folks DO have impact. Which means a discussion about what they say, including a challenge of their credentials to say it (including deGrasse Tyson’s), is important

    I quite understand that these people have an impact on the low-information populace, which is why I wrote what I wrote. I referred to credence, not to popularity.

    But let us also open the field of science to every single human being who can use their mind well and investigate the nature of reality with a critical aspect, and can figure things out as well as someone who may have a PhD and yet never figure out anything new. The human being is a scientist, in essence, as well as many other things. Many people are dumbed down, and that also includes scientists, i have found, in my many dealings with scientists. And i am a scientist myself, whatever degree i hold or do not, because i do science.

    Sage, can you please be honest enough to admit that you don’t have a science degree. Stop behaving like a shabby politician and speak the truth, one human being to another.

    i’m honest but you’re not. I’m a human being studying the science of glyphosate in depth, because i am concerned about the health of the ecosystem and humans. I cite studies and use reasoning. I do not misrepresent others’ words, nor do i frequently use other ingenuine forms of dialogue. Occasionally i may get hot under the collar but what do you expect. I think that anyone who reads my comment history (yours is hidden of course) would see that i am writing from a grounded placed based on evidence and sound reasoning.

    You serially misrepresent dialogue and use strawman arguments. Some days you post 100 identical comments about my deficient intellect to all the comments i’ve recently made, in other words harassment and spamming. You use many forms of bully tactics and you attempt psychological manipulation. Well, is that all you got, Captain?

    Hi Paul,

    David Ropeik is right about “qualifers” being an important part of solid journalism and you are right to be critical of “blanket assertions.”

    Alas, I think you missed the larger point of my post–and the points made in the open letter to Nye by Kevin Folta. And that is that Nye spoke very vaguely and rather confusingly about GMOs in his Reddit answer. In doing so, he gave the impression that there were still much uncertainty about the potential harm that could be caused by GMO crops to the environment. This does not reflect the findings that many top scientific bodies and institutions have passed judgment on. So Nye was being willfully disingenuous or he’s just ignorant about the science or not up to date in his knowledge. That’s what I was drawing attention. Note: This does not mean that there are no problems with the technology, particularly how is is being used by some farmers (as I recall, that was also brought up in the NAS study).

    Another important point: Nye has a huge media megaphone. He thus has a responsibility to communicate accurately about a science–and an issue–that is already muddled in many people’s minds because of agenda-driven misinformation from anti-GMO activists.

    As I said to you on Twitter, I think it’s important that you look at the totality of the evidence so far amassed on GMOs–the state of the science–just as you would look at that same body of science on climate change or the safety of vaccines. You can find important nuances there, too, but none that would call into question a solid consensus view.

    What I’ve been arguing in my various writings on this topic is that some people who accept what science says about climate change and vaccines don’t so so with respect to GMOs. That appears to be the case with Bill Nye, as well.

    Nye’s opinion does however reflect the opinions of the majority of the medical and public health community(you know the people who understand health). Since Nye is in agreement that GE ingredients should be labeled and that we don’t know the medium and long term impact of GE foods.

    Groups representing millions of members of the medical community consistently support mandatory labeling of GE ingredients in food.
    American College of Physicians.
    American Nurses Association.
    British Medical Association.
    Australian Medical Association.
    German Medical Association.
    and the majority of other medical groups support labeling.

    Australian Medical Association (AMA): “Genetically modified foods have been developed and introduced without regard for full and independent safety evaluation, or full and adequate public consultation or rigorous assessment of health impacts.”.

    British Medical Association: “Many unanswered questions remain, particularly with regard to the potential long-term impact of GM foods on human health and on the environment. There is a lack of evidence-based research with regard to medium and long-term effects on health and the environment”.

    Viennese Doctors’ Chamber (Ärztekammer für Wien): “Long-term analyses (over a period of at least 30 years) must be made in regard to nutritive, anti-nutritive, toxic and allergenic contents to establish unintended changes caused by the genetic modification.”.

    Australia Public Health Association: “GM foods should not be assessed as safe to eat unless they have undergone long-term animal safety assessments utilizing endpoints relevant to human health and conducted by independent researchers.”.

    Peru National Institute of Health/Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS): English translation: “The analysis of identified publications concluded that the scientific evidence is not sufficient to determine the consumption of GMO generates no adverse effects on human health.” In Spanish: “Del análisis de las publicaciones identificadas se concluye que la evidencia científica no es suficiente para determinar que el consumo de los AGM no genera efectos adversos en la salud humana.”.

    American College of Physicians “Lack of labeling denies health professionals the ability to trace potential toxic or allergic reactions to, and other adverse health effects from, genetically engineered food” “the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) strongly encourage the study of the long-term impact of genetic engineering on the food supply and human health.”.
    http://fw.to/QYic5YC

    There is no consensus on GE foods and the groups listed above are evidence that there is a consensus on climate change, etc. since they agree that climate change is real, but they also agree that there is not enough evidence to make conclusions about the medium and long term safety of GE foods. Anyone claiming a consensus on medium and long term GE food safety is being willfully disingenuous or he’s just ignorant about the science or not up to date in his knowledge. The state of the science is we don’t have the evidence to conclude medium and long term safety yet, and when most applicable long term studies suggest potential adverse effects, it seems absurd to claim GE foods currently consumed are safe at this point.

    Wow, I wonder where I’ve seen that cut-n-paste before?

    http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2014/10/will-sock-puppet-deception-sway-your.html

    Please stop stalking me and making false accusations against me. You are a fringe wacko and It is obvious that you are too ignorant to perform a basic search. Anyone can click the links and see you are exposed as the charlatan stalker you really are.

    You anti-science flatearthers are pathetic. You claim, “American Nursing Association
    A quick trip to their website reveals no policy statements under the search terms .”

    Funny how you conveniently omitted “genetically engineered” from your search terms. You really are this stupid!

    This is what happens when you search “genetically engineered” http://www.nursingworld.org/SpecialPages/Search?SearchMode=1&SearchPhrase=genetically+engineered

    You go on to claim, “German Medical Association A search there (in both English and German, finally three years of high school language paid off!) shows one mention of a relevant term, and that is in the curriculum of a nutrition course. It just says that it discusses the topic.”

    That’s just absurd. When I type “gentechnisch hergestellten” or ” gentechnisch veränderte” I get relevant documents supporting GMO labeling, etc.

    Anyone can see for themselves that you are a complete charlatan..

    http://www.bundesaerztekammer.de/search.asp?his=0.307

    Pretty strange that you would make claims about Bill Nye, when you are actually a fringe wacko who makes numerous inaccurate claims

    You are a complete moron and you have just exposed yourself to everyone reading this. You are definitely the dimmest bulb in the box. Stop stalking me wacko, you are very creepy!

    How does a university professor get away with stalking without employment repercussions? Stalking is a behavior which falls below basic standards set for ethical employee conduct. What can the public do, if anything, to see that Folta is held accountable?

    People are becoming more aware that it is Folta’s agenda to mislead people about GMOs. Just yesterday on the Boycott GMOs page I saw a post that shows he is willing to lie to people about GMO crops.

    Go for it. Make sure you sign your name on the letter and connect it to your username and what you’ve written here. I have a screen shot. We can get our attorneys to discuss who has acted illegally.

    Is that a threat Folta? You may think as did your buddy Jon Entine that you are above the law but news flash you are NOT…the true colors of the pro GMO gang are coming to light!

    Jon Entine alleged child abuser and wife beater….

    Kevin Folta alleged liar and stalker….

    Behavior of an accredited scientist and teacher? NOT SO MUCH!

    Save your passive aggresive threats as they are nonsensical to anyone with brain cells! ;-)

    Happy holidays!

    It is beginning to look like Folda is just another sociopathic tool like Jon Entine. He has the university job for cover, but anyone who is watching what he does can see the university isn’t getting their money’s worth because he spends so much time on the biotech pesticide industry agenda to keep poisonous pesticide laden GMOs hidden in the food we feed our families.

    Kevin Folda is a junk pseudo-scientist at best and a biotech pesticide industry wh*re in reality.

    No, hardly a threat. I just like to point out that in the arena of libelous claims you are crossing the line. Happy holidays to you too.

    I LOVE to show these conversations to live audiences. They see the aggressive smear of a public scientist by those hiding behind fake names. It’s really compelling, especially to the folks in the middle. It shows the true colors. Keep it up, the more the better.

    I LOVE it when biotech lackeys try to pretend they are telling the truth and giving the public accurate information only to discover they have lied through their teeth and been proven to be dishonest, morally bankrupt tools! ;-) Like the alledged child abuser and wife beater Jon Entine of the Genetic Illiteracy Project….

    Bottom line is that GMOs have NOT been proven safe…yet biotech and their minions continue to mislead the public…it is criminal in my humble opinion…

    As far as crossing the line? You do daily on twitter which has been documented for over a year now. ..smearing good people like Dr.Stephanie Seneff, Vani Hari a/k/a The Food Babe, Dr. Don Huber and more! So perhaps you should be concerned about the libelous things you have written? You are not above the law even if you have friends in low places with deep pockets!

    You almost have to laugh at the selective integrity these corrupt biotech pesticide industry tools like Folda, Entine, Kloor, and others use to justify their corrupt agenda driven comments.

    These sell outs to agenda driven junk pseudo-science love to slander and harass any real scientist who’s work conflicts with the biotech pesticide industry agenda, while accusing others of libelous claims for accurately reporting what they have observed about the corrupt industry tools making the bogus claims. Any lawyer looking at this in it’s full context would laugh away Folda’s bogus false claims.

    Guy’s like Folda, Entine, and kloor love to pass out the abuse while trying to destroy careers of honorable men and women. Then they scream like stuck pigs when someone calls them on their corrupt disingenuous hypocritical crap.

    Folda is not fit to serve a public university because he has sold himself to corrupt special interests and the evidence is all over the internet.

    And I appreciate your note, because most people reading this thread don’t understand the technology and the issues, and they are trying to understand them. What they see is a series of usernames, maybe all from the same person, making comments about an actual scientist that works in the public domain. My record of publication and funding is 100% public record, and anyone can see that I’ve never received a dime from “deep pockets”. My work is all funded by the USDA, NSF, etc.

    It frames the discussion very well. They see how someone that works for them is attacked by activists. I take screen shots of every comment you make and show them at public discussions. Nothing changes minds faster. They see the contrast between a professional sharing science, and the people that want to stop him.

    So thanks, and keep it going.

    And I’ve never “smeared” Seneff, Hari or Huber. They want to pretend they have science and I ask them to substantiate their claims. I was very kind to Huber. I offered to spend probably $10,000 of my own money to help him solve the “crisis” he describes from his claimed mysterious organism. Of course, I can’t help him with something that does not exist.

    So again, thanks, and maybe dial up the libel. It is a great tool for me to change hearts and minds.

    Bottom line. GMO’s have been proven to be as least as safe as non-GMO’s. If GMO’s are not safe, then neither is any other food.

    You know they have not so why lie? It only makes you lose the debate faster…people are not stupid….and we are awakening from the false sense of security associated with the regulatory agencies that are suppose to protect us…FDA, USDA, EPA….etc…as of course we ALL know they have done the opposite where GMOs are concerned!

    I know who TZ and Cletus are on Facebook in case you are interested.

    Sure, send me a note to kevinfolta at gmail. I think I know too, it is the same cut-paste hatchet job I’ve seen others do before. Going forward it would be nice to be able to ask people to behave a little differently and not libel scientists. Heck, every time I get a little prickly my boss gets a letter and I get to hear about it. I can’t even get frustrated by these folks anymore without a hassle. But it is fun to share the science.

    No GMO,

    Kevin Folta has deleted his false claims about the American Nursing Association and the German Medical Association without acknowledging that he erased these inaccurate assertions.

    It seems that Kevin Folta does not have much in the way of integrity or credibily

    EDIT.His claims are still up, but they’re not at the blog entry he linked to.

    A correction on my part, No GMO.

    Apparently, I either misremembered Folta’s blog lay out, or he separated his attempt to out and smear you, and his lies about various medical associations’ positions on GMO saftey into two different blog posts. I don’t know which.

    He’s still accusing you of misrepresenting their positions, though not at the link he provided.

    Here are his most recent claims, if you feel any desire to respond:

    [These do not claim dangers from GMOs]
    “American College of Physicians
    Their website shows no position or policy on transgenic food. A deep googling finds a series of resolutions to adopt by their board of governors regarding adopting labels, which passed.

    American Nursing Association
    A quick trip to their website reveals no policy statements under the search terms . There is nothing listed in their Position Statements.To their credit their website does a beautiful job with genetics and genomics and has some great resources for nurses to get up to speed in these technologies, as well as their ethical considerations.

    British Medical Association
    The BMA website reveals no content when searched with the terms “GMO” or “transgenic”. When “genetically modified” is used 13 topics come back, none related to food or transgenic crops.

    Australian Medical Association
    A search reveals one match with GMO, found here.However, it was a typographical error that should have read “HMO”. “Transgenic” leads to an article on transgenic mosquitoes.

    German Medical Association
    A search there (in both English and German, finally three years of high school language paid off!) shows one mention of a relevant term, and that is in the curriculum of a nutrition course. It just says that it discusses the topic.

    So why does this list consistently appear as a set of medical associations squarely standing against transgenic technology?

    1. They may have at one time held positions that way but since have retracted them due to a lack of actual evidence of harm.
    2. They never held those positions but activists felt that nobody would ever check, especially those whose biases are confirmed by such endorsements.
    3. Someone just made it up.”

    I already responded to this twice in the comments here, both directly and indirectly. I’ll repeat one of the comments I made, and it is clear that he is stalking me and making false accusations against me.

    He says things like “American Nursing Association
    A quick trip to their website reveals no policy statements under the search terms .”

    Funny how he conveniently omitted “genetically engineered” from his search terms.

    This is what happens when you search “genetically engineered” http://www.nursingworld.org/SpecialPages/Search?SearchMode=1&SearchPhrase=genetically+engineered

    He goes on to claim, “German Medical Association A search there (in both English and German, finally three years of high school language paid off!) shows one mention of a relevant term, and that is in the curriculum of a nutrition course. It just says that it discusses the topic.”

    That’s just absurd. When I type “gentechnisch hergestellten” or ” gentechnisch veränderte” I get relevant documents supporting GMO labeling, etc.

    See for yourself..

    http://www.bundesaerztekammer.de/search.asp?his=0.307

    I can easily keep going and link to a government report which the Australian Medical Association submitted comments in favor of labeling, etc. http://www.foodlabellingreview.gov.au/internet/foodlabelling/publishing.nsf/Content/foodlabelsubpublic?OpenDocument&referenceno=1ATAN-85M3G620100520111349FJNI

    You are showing proof that you are stalking someone and it is really creepy.

    Stalking? It is a google search. When someone uses information to deceive, it is a good thing to point it out. Now she’ll call it “stalking” to try to cast me in a negative light. However, it is because she’s been busted as a cut-n-paste commenter, reposting the same info under different usernames. That says a lot to many people, so I’m glad to point that out.

    I am transparent here with my real name and information. I don’t know how to “stalk” someone that does not even use their real name– what, “stalk” a username?

    People have made death threats to me, said things about my wife, downloaded and repurposed pictures from my personal facebook page. That’s weird. Noting that someone puts the same information on hundreds of pages is something those making up their minds on this topic need to know about. It is very persuasive. Thanks.

    And what is wrong with that even if he or she did copy and paste their info? It sure beats trying to drill this information into your heads by typing it out over and over again, what a huge waste of time that would be. lol You obviously seem to not have understood it the first time he or she posted this. I call that smart and less time consuming.

    http://tinyurl.com/Foolta

    Groups representing millions of members of the medical community consistently support mandatory labeling of GE ingredients in food.
    American College of Physicians.
    American Nurses Association.
    British Medical Association.
    Australian Medical Association.
    German Medical Association.
    and the majority of other medical groups support labeling.

    Australian Medical Association (AMA): “Genetically modified foods have been developed and introduced without regard for full and independent safety evaluation, or full and adequate public consultation or rigorous assessment of health impacts.”.

    British Medical Association: “Many unanswered questions remain, particularly with regard to the potential long-term impact of GM foods on human health and on the environment. There is a lack of evidence-based research with regard to medium and long-term effects on health and the environment”.

    Viennese Doctors’ Chamber (Ärztekammer für Wien): “Long-term analyses (over a period of at least 30 years) must be made in regard to nutritive, anti-nutritive, toxic and allergenic contents to establish unintended changes caused by the genetic modification.”.

    Australia Public Health Association: “GM foods should not be assessed as safe to eat unless they have undergone long-term animal safety assessments utilizing endpoints relevant to human health and conducted by independent researchers.”.

    Peru National Institute of Health/Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS): English translation: “The analysis of identified publications concluded that the scientific evidence is not sufficient to determine the consumption of GMO generates no adverse effects on human health.” In Spanish: “Del análisis de las publicaciones identificadas se concluye que la evidencia científica no es suficiente para determinar que el consumo de los AGM no genera efectos adversos en la salud humana.”.

    American College of Physicians “Lack of labeling denies health professionals the ability to trace potential toxic or allergic reactions to, and other adverse health effects from, genetically engineered food” “the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) strongly encourage the study of the long-term impact of genetic engineering on the food supply and human health.”.
    http://fw.to/QYic5YC

    There is no consensus on GE foods and the groups listed above are evidence that there is a consensus on climate change, etc. since they agree that climate change is real, but they also agree that there is not enough evidence to make conclusions about the medium and long term safety of GE foods. Anyone claiming a consensus on medium and long term GE food safety is being willfully disingenuous or he’s just ignorant about the science or not up to date in his knowledge. The state of the science is we don’t have the evidence to conclude medium and long term safety yet, and when most applicable long term studies suggest potential adverse effects, it seems absurd to claim GE foods currently consumed are safe at this point.

    Here’s Suzuki when’s he’s actually pressed to articulate his concerns.

    Here one can find a searchable database for medical associations and societies. http://www.medilexicon.com/medicalassociations.php
    There are over 1200 listed. I’m sure there are more.
    From anti-GMO websites, it seems that most list about 150 medical associations that agree with GMO labeling. This means that at least 1050 either do not support labeling or have no formal opinion on the subject. Therefore, I can’t see how anyone could conclude that most medical societies support labeling.

    So your complaint is really that it should say something like “the majority of other medical groups that have publicly discussed the subject in reports, resolutions, etc. support labeling”? Your argument is about 12% of medical groups agree with labeling, about 0.1% disagree and the rest don’t have a position yet.

    Since this is your argument then be consistent. When someone says there is a consensus but only maybe 15% of groups have weighed in then if the rest haven’t weighed in then by your logic they must not support any consensus, so there is no consensus. So you must be in agreement with the quote “There is no consensus on GE foods”.

    My commentary did not include a complaint, nor was it as combating as you are implying.
    My exact conclusion was, “Therefore, I can’t see how anyone could conclude that most medical societies support labeling.” Others who commented before me seemed to be suggesting that there was in fact a labeling consensus, so I provided evidence that there may not be as much of a consensus on labeling among medical associations.

    Also, how do you know that exactly 0.1% of medical associations disagree with labeling? Have you done the math? If so, please provide it because I have not calculated this statistic for myself.
    There is indeed a scientific consensus on GE foods in terms on safety. Science largely supports GMO safety. There is not a consensus as to whether or not GMOs should be labeled. These are two different things. I’m sure you are already aware.

    The same way you made your conclusion of what medical groups support labeling based on what you found on some websites, I assumed you were also considering what medical groups are against labeling based on what is found on websites. While looking at websites I was only able to find one medical group, the American Medical Association, against labeling. Maybe there are a few others you know of, but even if you found 10, “the majority of other medical groups that have publicly discussed the subject in reports, resolutions, etc. support labeling”

    You claim, “There is indeed a scientific consensus on GE foods in terms on safety.” yet I have seen no such evidence to support such a claim. However, as was mentioned previously “Anyone claiming a consensus on medium and long term GE food safety is being willfully disingenuous or he’s just ignorant about the science or not up to date in his knowledge. The state of the science is we don’t have the evidence to conclude medium and long term safety yet, and when most applicable long term studies suggest potential adverse effects, it seems absurd to claim GE foods currently consumed are safe at this point.”

    However, by your own standard there is no consensus on medium and long term GE food safety, unless you can show that most of those medical groups you posted have a position that says science says medium and long term consumption of GE foods is completely safe. If most of those groups have no position on medium and long term GE food safety then this means that most either do not support the claim that science says medium and long term consumption of GE foods is completely safe, or have no formal opinion on the subject. Therefore, by your logic, I can’t see how you could conclude that there is a consensus on medium and long term GE food safety, unless perhaps you are a hypocrite.

    I calculated the numbers of medical associations that support labeling in the exact way that I described. We know the amount of medical associations that are for labeling because it is disclosed on websites. That’s how I concluded that it couldn’t be the majority (because 150 out of at least 1200 is not a majority). It doesn’t matter if the remaining associations are against labeling or undecided because there will still not be a majority for labeling.
    Where did you get that second quote from? It needs a source to have credibility. Yet, I will respond to it anyway. First, the quote says “he.” However, I’m not a man as the quote suggests.
    Second, by long term, how long was meant? 10 years? 20 years? A lifetime?
    Currently, we don’t employ long term testing for anything in our society, and we certainly don’t guarantee 100% safety. What if car manufacturers were expected to 100% guarantee that no one would die in accidents in their vehicles? What if utility companies had to guarantee there would be no electrical or gas fires? My guess is that we would be living in the dark.
    If we don’t expect this for anything else, then why would we expect this of our agricultural methods? Of course, none of our current agricultural methods, including organic and heirloom, are free from environmental impacts or harm to humans. Every form of agriculture involves introducing new species to a environment that could potentially cross pollinate with native species and changes the composition of the soil. Last year, there were a few confirmed deaths due to E. coli poisoning of spinach. There is no “zero impact” agriculture. Therefore, we should only expect new forms of agriculture, such as GMO, to have the same or fewer impacts on health and the environment, which is what studies have shown.
    Of course, no long term studies exist for GMOs (because no studies exist for anything else in our society either). The vast majority of studies (even when those with corporate interests are filtered out) show that GMOs are safe, so if you call following what the majority of evidence shows being “disingenuous,” then I will gladly accept that title. That’s the very definition of a consensus. Also, consensus is not a time depend word as you suggest. There is no specified time duration for experiments used in a consensus on any subject. It is also important to mention that there will always be outliers who reject the consensus, such as some of the scientists that denied climate change.
    Maybe you should focus less on attempting to frame me as a hypocrite and more on trying to explain why long term testing should only be used in this facet of our society and not others (not even in other forms of agriculture and other applications of genetic engineering). I haven’t been mean to you. Just be nice.

    You pretty much just ignored that you applied a double standard and are now trying to change the subject. Let’s try this again : You claimed, “Others who commented before me seemed to be suggesting that there was in fact a labeling consensus, so I provided evidence that there may not be as much of a consensus on labeling among medical associations.” Your claim is based on most of the medical groups on the list you provided having no position on labeling(all based on your assumption that whatever website you looked at listed all the groups that support labeling) so there isn’t a consensus. So, when we apply your logic to your claim that, “There is indeed a scientific consensus on GE foods in terms on safety.” we should find that the majority of this same list of medical groups you posted support your claim. The problem is they don’t seem to since most either say something like long term studies are needed to claim safety or seem to have no formal opinion on the subject. Therefore, by your logic, there is no consensus on safety, unless perhaps you are a hypocrite. Since you seem to be offended by the idea you are a hypocrite then you must now agree that when you said “There is indeed a scientific consensus on GE foods in terms on safety.” you must have just made a big mistake.

    As for where that quote came from, it was in the comment you responded to. The fact that you didn’t read the comment you responded to makes me think I’m wasting my time because it is unlikely you are reading my comments either. Had you read the comment you responded to you would see that many medical groups have called for long term studies. These are novel foods we are talking about and without even a generation of consumption you cannot make any claims of safety and it is definitely disingenuous at best considering according to your own argument there is no consensus on safety.

    You keep claiming that most studies say this or most studies say that, but you haven’t posted anything to support your claims. I can tell you haven’t looked at the evidence because you claimed, “Of course, no long term studies exist for GMOs” when as was already stated several times now which you continue to ignore “most applicable long term studies suggest potential adverse effects”. So you are going against what the majority of the applicable long term studies suggest. There is in fact a time duration on a consensus for chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity and claiming there isn’t is disingenuous at best. Obviously a time duration matters.

    Let’s play a game, it’s called “What does the bulk of the applicable long term evidence really say?” The way the game is played is we cite the relevant long term studies and whoever has the most(the weight of the evidence) is basing their opinion on science and whoever is going against the weight of the evidence is being anti-science. The rules are only individual studies count, no reviews or articles, etc. Long term means six months or longer. Relevant means subjects comparable to humans so rodents and pigs. Only studies that look at real health parameters count so not carcass weight, milk production, transgene degradation, etc. and of course GE foods currently consumed by most humans only. You claimed, “The vast majority of studies (even when those with corporate interests are filtered out) show that GMOs are safe”, but unless you can show the type of evidence that meets even the basic chronic toxicity standards mentioned here then you must admit that you don’t have any real evidence of safety. So either you have some applicable long term evidence to support your claim or you must admit there really is no consensus and that is just some made up nonsense you read on some website. So, backing out of the game means your position is not based on science but on your own “belief”. If you don’t respond and start playing the game I’ll take it as you don’t have the evidence to support your claims.

    Based on the “double standard” comment, I can see that maybe my logic wasn’t clear enough. GMO labeling and GMO safety are not the same issue. Therefore, we cannot conclude based on which medical associations are for labeling what these associations believe about GMO safety. For example, some people believe in labeling but also think that GMOs safe. It’s not an
    uncommon belief and one that some medical associations may very well hold. We must assess these associations’ beliefs about GMO labeling separately from
    their beliefs on labeling.
    Just because medical groups call for long term testing also doesn’t mean that these associations believe GMOs are harmful. I believe in long term testing too, but I also do not believe that GMOs are harmful. Those on both sides of the argument believe that more long term testing is a good thing.
    In regards to time duration requirements for carcinogenicity tests, I suggest looking up the Ames test. It is a test for potential carcinogens that has been used for many years and takes fewer than three days
    to complete. There are also many studies for carcinogenic and toxic substances that involve treating mammalian cells in a petri dish with chemicals that may
    carcinogenic or toxic. These tests usually take 2-6 weeks to complete.
    While I typically enjoy games, I can’t say I will enjoy
    yours because it contains a clear logical fallacy. You can find information on it here.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance
    However, despite all of the stipulations you required in
    your “game,” I was still able to find evidence.
    Maybe this article will help you find information that you
    find relevant.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691511006399
    It is a review of 24 studies of animals fed GM corn,
    soybean, and rice. 12 of these studies are long term (6 months to 2 years, times within what you specified) and 12 are multigenerational (2-5 generations). The study includes biochemical, histology, and hematology data.This data also comes from Europe, where GMOs are not as widely accepted as in the United States.
    I’m sure regardless of the evidence I presented, you will
    still respond asking for “lifetime” evidence even though that wasn’t part of the rules of your “game.” Due to your continual combative nature, I likely will not respond to any more of your comments (although I would still like to know why you believe the precautionary principle should only be used in one facet of society). I hope you will continue to research and learn. Goodbye.

    You are still applying a double standard. Let’s try this one last time : You claimed, “Others who commented before me seemed to be suggesting that there was in fact a labeling consensus, so I provided evidence that there may not be as much of a consensus on labeling among medical associations.” Your claim is based on most of the medical groups on the list you provided having no position on labeling(all based on your assumption that whatever website you looked at listed all the groups that support labeling) so there isn’t a consensus. So, when we apply your logic to your claim that, “There is indeed a scientific consensus on GE foods in terms on safety.” we should find that the majority of this same list of medical groups you posted support your claim. The problem is they don’t seem to since most seem to have no formal opinion on the subject or say something like : Australia Public Health Association: “GM foods should not be assessed as safe to eat unless they have undergone long-term animal safety assessments utilizing endpoints relevant to human health and conducted by independent researchers.”

    Based on your own logic, if you cannot provide evidence that most of these medical groups(at least 700 or so if you want to claim consensus) have come out formally and claimed GE foods are safe then there is no consensus. Provide the evidence for these 700 medical groups claiming GE foods are safe or by your own logic there is no consensus.

    I can pretty much tell you don’t understand science at this point. Carcinogenicity is not just about whether or not a product has greater amount of carcinogens, but the amount of carcinogens compared to anti-carcinogens, etc. You need carcinogenicity studies, epidemiological studies, etc. to detect these because what occurs in vitro may not be what occurs in vivo if the anti-carcinogen that is countering the carcinogen in vitro is broken down before reaching the cells from that particular organ, etc. then the results can change. There is plenty of evidence for this.

    Clearly it is you who are applying the logical fallacy here.

    The Snell review has been heavily criticized as being,”biaisée” and for suggesting safety based on studies that do no meet safety guidelines(Par Gilles van Kote 2011). Not surprisingly the lead authors were plant scientists/biotechnologists with a professional conflict of interest(Snell LinkedIn profile, Bernheim LinkedIn profile). Criticism includes reviewing studies which used animals not physiologically comparable to humans(Brake 2003, Flachowsky 2005, Sissener 2009, Trabalza-Marinucci 2008), used performance and/or limited health parameters(Steinke 2010, Daleprane 2009 and 2010), that none of the relevant long term studies reviewed meet the minimum criteria to suggest safety for a chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity study using too few subjects, only a single dose, etc.(Daleprane 2009 and 2010, Sakamoto 2007 and 2008, Haryu 2009) and none of the results have been repeated using two or more mammal species. 8 of the 24 studies also used varieties of GE feed not currently consumed by humans.(Baranowski 2006, Domon 2009, Flachowsky 2005, Krzyżowska 2010, Rhee 2005, Sakamoto 2007 and 2008, Trabalza-Marinucci 2008). Some studies reviewed were not long term(Tudisco 2010, Brake 2004 and 2004a, Kiliç 2008). Therefore, this review cannot be used as evidence to suggest safety by chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity standards. In comparison, most of the relevant studies on the long term studies list suggested unintended potentially adverse effects were observed(Malatesta 2002a, 2002b, 2003, 2004, Vecchio 2004). Most relevant long studies including those the authors did not review, suggest unintended potentially adverse health effects were observed for the GE fed subjects compared to the controls. .

    So your reference actually supports my claim that “most applicable long term studies suggest potential adverse effects”. So the score looks like 5 applicable studies for me and only 2 applicable studies on their long term list for you and really your 2 studies are far too limited to suggest overall safety. I can provide more which support my claim, but this is where it pays to look at the individual studies yourself instead of relying on the misinterpretation of biased biotechnologists.

    You claimed, “The vast majority of studies (even when those with corporate interests are filtered out) show that GMOs are safe”, but unless you can show the type of evidence that meets even the basic chronic toxicity standards mentioned here then you must admit that you don’t have any real evidence of safety. So either you have some applicable long term evidence to support your claim or you must admit there really is no consensus and that is just some made up nonsense you read on some website. So, backing out of the game(especially now that you are losing) means your position is not based on science but on your own “belief”. If you don’t respond and continue playing the game I’ll take it as you don’t have the evidence to support your claims.

    So far you have failed to support a claim of consensus by your logic. You are missing 700 references from medical groups supporting your consensus on safety claim. Also so far you have failed to provide evidence that most of the applicable long term studies support your claim, in fact the evidence you provided actually supports my claim that “most applicable long term studies suggest potential adverse effects”.

    WOW…I wonder where I have seen that lame, useless, uninformative blog URL cut-n- paste before?

    I think this is an example of a downright dangerous attitude among scientists — and it’s even worse when it crops up among science writers — that they have to cast a face of absolute certainty about everything when talking to the public. It’s dangerous, because the public are not fools, and if you pretend certainty about things where there still is genuine disagreement in the peer-reviewed scientific literature — and GMOs are definitely in that category — then you risk losing all credibility with the public when they see evidence of this duplicity.
    On this one, Nye, Raeburn and Ropeik are right, and you (Keith) are in the wrong. There really are legitimate scientific questions on this issue, despite big agribusiness’s very harsh attempts to suppress them. This is not at all in the same category as climate change, and you risk undermining people’s acceptance of the latter if you start pretending to have equal certainty on questions where it is not justified.
    Sheldon Krimsky’s “The GMO Deception” is a good overview on this, if you’re unfamiliar with the literature.

    Sorry, GMO Deception is terrible. It should be pictured next to “cherry-picking” in the activist dictionary. http://www.biofortified.org/2014/11/the-gmo-deception-is-in-fact-deceptive/

    LOL and you quote biofortified LMAO!!! Guess we know which side of your AgriChemical Cartel bread is buttered on…

    “Biofortified continues to misrepresent GMO facts
    http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2014/15630-biofortified-continues-to-misrepresent-gmo-facts

    “Biology Fortified, Inc. misleads the public on GMO safety
    http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2014/15618-biology-fortified-misleads-the-public-on-gmo-safety

    “Pro-GMO database: Monsanto is most common funder of GMO research biofortified
    http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2014/15676-pro-gmo-database-monsanto-is-most-common-funder-of-gmo-research

    “The pro-GMO advocacy group, Biofortified, announced in late August that the group’s much-hyped GENERA database of GMO research is now available for public review in a trial version. Though the database contains only a fraction of the GMO research available (400 of 1200 studies, according to Biofortified), this hasn’t stopped the group from drawing sweeping conclusions about what the science says. The partisan group has always incorrectly stated that the scientific literature shows that GMOs are safe. But with the release of GENERA, the group now boasts that “half of GMO research is independent,” and notes that this finding “should turn the heads of people who thought it was skewed to private, U.S.-based laboratories.”
    READ: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blogs/pro-gmo-database-monsanto-most-common-funder-gmo-research/

    “F&WW takes Biofortified/GENERA to task for misrepresenting their database.
    Want Independent Information on GMOs? Don’t Rely on Monsanto-Funded Database
    http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blogs/pro-gmo-database-monsanto-most-common-funder-gmo-research/

    David my friend, Re; Prof Krimsky. His own highly skeptical-of-GMO work has found that the vast preponderance of the evidence on human health effects (something like 2,000 studies I recall reading) show no evidence of harm, and roughly 20 or so hint that there may be some. And among those, stunning for an ostensibly careful academic like Dr. Krimsky, are the Seralini papers, which any objective analyst (journalist) should suspect, given his overt advocacy. It’s not as though the few papers suggesting potential harm should be dismissed, as as Paul noted, they need to be acknowledged. But there really is a Bulk of The Evidence ( a decades worth or more) on the human health aspect of the issue. As I follow things, most of the credible medical/tox experts suggesting doubt about safety do so because to them a decade worth of study is not long enough, not because they are convinced there is ar even may be actual harm.
    Much more stunning to me, though, was Krimsky’s remarks to an interviewer (Democracy Now http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2014/10/31/the_gmo_deception_sheldon_krimsky_on) essentially regurgitating the overt lie about Indian farmer suicides. I have great respect for Dr. Krimsky, (just asked him a question the other day, about RNAi biotech and the Innate potato) but to this former journalist his statements make clear that he is not an objective source.

    There isn’t decades worth of human studies on GMOs -in fact there is a grand total of less than 7 studies, so there is no scientific basis to claiming GMOs aren’t dangerous to animal or human health. Labeling to permit treaceability and epidemiology studies are required to do so, but no human epidemilogy studies assessing GMO impacts on health exist.

    The thousands of studies you refer to have been soundly debunked or didn’t you know?

    and Not one is a long term, INDEPENDENT peer reviewed study showing no harm. Not One..

    “A review that is claimed by pro-GMO lobbyists to show that 1,700 (the number keeps changing.. studies show GM foods are as safe in fact shows nothing of the sort. Instead many of the 1,700 studies cited show evidence of risk. The review also excludes or glosses over important scientific controversies over GMO safety issues. (p. 102)
    A review purportedly showing that GM foods are safe on the basis of long-term animal studies in fact shows evidence of risk and uses unscientific double standards to reach a conclusion that is not justified by the data. (p. 161)
    A laboratory study in human cells shows that very low levels of glyphosate (the main chemical ingredient of Roundup herbicide, which most GM crops are engineered to tolerate) mimicked the hormone estrogen and stimulated the growth of breast cancer cells. The level of glyphosate that had this effect was below the level allowed in drinking water in Europe and far below the level allowed in the USA. It was also below the level found in GM glyphosate-tolerant soy, which is imported into Europe for animal feed and human food. If confirmed in animal studies, this finding would overturn regulatory assumptions of safe levels of glyphosate. (p. 221)
    A rat feeding study led by Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, which found toxic effects from a GM maize and tiny amounts of the Roundup herbicide it is grown with, was retracted by a journal editor for unscientific reasons. Yet the study is far stronger and more detailed than many industry studies that are accepted as proof of safety for GMOs. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) had to reject the study in order to protect its own previous opinions on this and other GMOs, for reasons explained in the report. The findings of this study, if confirmed, would overturn regulatory assumptions of safe levels of glyphosate and Roundup. (pp. 94, 147)
    Claims that an EU-funded research project shows GMOs are safe are not evidence-based, since the project did not even test the safety of any commercialized GMOs. Some animal testing data gathered by the project actually reveal health risks from the GMOs tested. (p. 166)
    Claims that Europe is becoming a “museum” of farming because of its reluctance to embrace GM crops are shown to be nonsensical by research showing that Europe’s mostly non-GM agriculture out-yields the USA’s mostly GM agriculture with less pesticide use. Instead, it is the GM-adopting USA that is falling behind Europe in terms of productivity and sustainability. (pp. 232–233)
    Risks from an important new type of GMO that is designed to silence genes are not being properly assessed by regulators. (p. 78)
    Contrary to claims by GMO proponents, the real reason GM golden rice isn’t available has nothing to do with anti-GMO activists and everything to do with basic research and development problems. (p. 197)
    Conventional breeding continues to outstrip GM in delivering crops that yield well, resist disease, are nutritious, and tolerate drought and other types of extreme weather. (pp. 284, 318–321)
    Crop genetics are only part of the solution to our food and agriculture challenges. The other part is agroecological farming methods that build soil and focus on growing a diversity of naturally healthy and resilient crops. (p. 303)
    GMO Myths and Truths – GM foods neither safe nor needed, say genetic engineers
    http://earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/gmo-myths-and-truths

    Monsanto Double Standards and the Crumbling “Scientific Myths” of the GMO Biotech Sector, (debunks industry studies)
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/monsanto-double-standards-and-the-crumbling-scientific-myths-of-the-gmo-biotech-sector/5382894
    http://tinyurl.com/1700Studies

    3.3 Myth: Many long-term studies show GM is safe
    http://earthopensource.org/gmomythsandtruths/sample-page/3-health-hazards-gm-foods/3-3-myth-many-long-term-studies-show-gm-safe/

    Keith,
    I should have made it clear that I thought your post was generally on target. Nye might well have created a false impression. But I’m arguing that some of the GMO proponents have done the same thing.

    That’s a fair point, Paul. And thanks.

    A theme of my writing on this topic is the inconsistent standard we see by many who would consider themselves staunchly science oriented. I suspect that it is Bill Nye’s cultural/ideological/political attitudes that influence his thinking on GMOs. This is quite normal for most people, but for the Science Guy, it’s….well, not very science-like. Hence, my highlighting it.

    But because he’s the Science Guy, the slayer of climate skeptics and creationists, his statements on GMOs matter a lot.

    I would love nothing more than to move on to more nuanced areas of the GMO debate. There is much to explore. That would also be much more interesting to me, journalistically speaking. And I really should do that. But you know, the blog is quite reactionary, a slave to today’s news.

    Additionally, it’s difficult to move forward when we have folks like Bill Nye and other hugely influential thought leaders (I’m looking at you, Michael Pollan) engaging in sophistry on the topic. I find myself playing whack-a-mole way too much, which is dispiriting.

    Even more dispiriting is the seeming tolerance for this state of affairs by the science journalism community. For example, if Bill Nye had said some pretty silly and off base things about autism on Reddit, you can bet there would have been an outcry. “How could he say that?!” But with GMOs, it’s a collective shrug of shoulders.

    Why do you think that is?

    I’m not sure how his post was generally on target, you know with the Ramez Naam reference that includes fake claims. Like Royal Society of Medicine which he claims is “England’s top medical society, the British equivalent of the American Medical Association” when actually that would be the British Medical Association. Of course, that isn’t actually the Royal Society of Medicine’s position anyway it is just an article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and not from the Royal Society of Medicine.

    In the same journal there is a response from medical researcher David Schubert, which points out numerous errors in this article and states, “‘GM crops consumed… with no reported ill effects’ – therefore they are safe. This statement is illogical and the conclusion is not valid. There is no assay and there is no epidemiology. If any GM food product did cause harm it would be impossible to pick up within the constant background of disease, particularly since in the USA, the biggest consumer, there are no labelling requirements.” http://jrs.sagepub.com/content/101/9/435.2.full

    Honestly, I’m not sure how Kloor gets away with posting his articles without actually fact checking. I wonder who approves Kloor’s posts, because they should be fired. Right after they fire Kloor for not fact checking his own references. I do have to wonder if it is BASF that approves Kloor’s posts, you know with that big BASF advertisement next to his face and all…

    I linked to Ramez Naam not because of any special expertise he has on GMOs (although he’s written some very smart things) but because he assembled a helpful one-stop shop of, as he says in that post, “statements from the world’s most respected scientific bodies and journals on the topic of GMO safety,” including links to them.

    I thought that was valuable for readers to see for themselves.

    That you think those are fake claims is a head-scratcher. But hey, I hear there are some people who think the moon landing was faked.

    You thought fake claims were valuable? LOL! I love this claim, “published a review of all the information about genetically modified foods ” He seriously claimed the authors reviewed “all” the information and you thought that was a real claim?

    I guess I expected too much from a guy with a big BASF sign next to his face…

    It seems kkloor has no idea what he is talking about. After all, he is not a “science guy”, he is a freelance writer! Bill Nye is the “science guy” and he certainly knows what he is talking about.

    I’ve read around a fair amount on the web on GMO’s, and I’ve seen this claim several times – that GMO proponents have created a false impression, or oversold the data, or something. Most strong GMO proponents that I’m aware of are quite modest in their claims, and stick with the science, as far as I can tell. I think this is absolutely untrue of anti-GMO folks – it’s easy to find instances where they misrepresent the science. I’m happy to do this, if you request.
    Can you provide links to two examples of GMO proponents that are ‘creating a false impression’, or whatever you’d like to define as the equivalent harm.
    Thank you!

    I can easily do that. How about Jon Entine. http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/10/08/with-2000-global-studies-confirming-safety-gm-foods-among-most-analyzed-subject-in-science/

    In his articles he makes claims like

    “With 2000+ global studies affirming safety” The problem is he doesn’t even reference 2000 studies, let alone over 2000 studies. The reference he does provide has 1700+ references, but many of those are just letters to the editor, articles, book chapters, etc. and hundreds have nothing to do with safety. The references provided also do not all affirm safety like he claims with examples like :

    “most studies with GM foods indicate that they may cause some common toxic effects such as hepatic, pancreatic, renal, or reproductive effects and may alter the hematological, biochemical, and immunologic parameters.
    #1367 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18989835

    etc.

    If you look at the comments here I gave a list of medical and public health groups that have position statements, reports, resolutions, etc. stating the GE foods should be labeled, there are unanswered questions about the medium and long term safety of GE foods, etc. Yet, Keith Kloor with the BASF sign next to his face doesn’t mention that.

    In fact, people like Kevin Folta says things like “American Nursing Association
    A quick trip to their website reveals no policy statements under the search terms .”
    http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2014/10/what-do-medical-organizations-not.html

    Funny how he conveniently omitted “genetically engineered” from his search terms.

    This is what happens when you search “genetically engineered” http://www.nursingworld.org/SpecialPages/Search?SearchMode=1&SearchPhrase=genetically+engineered

    He goes on to claim, “German Medical Association A search there (in both English and German, finally three years of high school language paid off!) shows one mention of a relevant term, and that is in the curriculum of a nutrition course. It just says that it discusses the topic.”

    That’s just absurd. When I type “gentechnisch hergestellten” or ” gentechnisch veränderte” I get relevant documents supporting GMO labeling, etc.

    See for yourself..
    http://www.bundesaerztekammer.de/search.asp?his=0.307

    Pretty strange that Kevin Folta would make claims about Bill Nye, when Folta actually makes many inaccurate claims himself.

    As you can see these are clear examples of GMO proponents exaggerating their claims and downplaying claims that disagree with them(I’m being really nice here).

    A good and important challenge. Qualifiers MUST be part of solid journalism, even ‘opinion’ journalism. Especially on enviro and risk issues, fraught with emotion and values. Same is true for coverage of industrial chemicals, nukes, and on and on.

    No, it’s worse than that. For example, Nye’s book claims there are GMO papaya allergies. This is completely unfounded. It’s the kind of allergy BS that the activists are spreading without any foundation at all.

    If you claim to base your views on “evidence”, and you don’t actually have any when you make your claims, you are gonna get called on it.

    Lovely to see people without training in immunology- unlicensed to prescribe aspirin- make definitive statements on allergies. Please post all the allergy testing done to assure that GMO papaya doesn’t cause allergies. When you are done not posting any evidence to back your statement up, please post the nonexistent allergy tests on Round Up Ready Beets hidden in pet food. Thanks very much!

    I have a degree in immunology. But I know that won’t make any difference to you. I’ve seen what you do to anyone qualified in any arena, after you’ve demanded to hear their credentials.

    You know what happens when the dogctor demands information from someone who can prescribe medication?

    http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/2013/03/29/anti-gmo-writers-show-profound-ignorance-of-basic-biology-and-now-jane-goodall-has-joined-their-ranks/#comment-25030

    This is why a scientist publicly mocked you as a troll in her recent lecture. You are full of wild claims, wild accusations, and only you fulfill your requirements for training, dismissing everyone else. You are absolutely hilarious and a complete laughingstock. You have been banned from every science blog I know for this similar behavior.

    Most people (except you, apparently) also know it doesn’t require a license to prescribe aspirin.

    Attacking me, wont make allergy studies appear magically- that don’t exist- nor will it suddenly make you a licensed medical professional qualified to prescribe aspirin.

    Please post studies on papayas that show that it isn’t allergenic, and then do the same for Round Up Ready Beets, now present in dog food. I’ve seen four animals in a few months develop allergies to foods containing this plant that has no recorded history of allergies—which is the reason I am requesting allergy studies on this transgenic plant.

    When you are done not posting studies that don’t exist, please do find me a reputable MD who agrees that renal function can be assessed without a urinalysis- like your friend the quack did-or for that matter, reads the study your buddy dismissed- and isn’t astounded by the awfulness of the junk science your friend gave a pass to. Aside from that, your friend engages in industry friendly sophistry in the same vein as Keith Kloor.

    http://rightbiotech.tumblr.com/post/97339408195/vaccine-and-climate-as-sophistry-on-gmos

    If I wanted to wrestle in the mud with you- I would post the material he censored–reminding him that he took an oath that he refuses to uphold.

    No, I don’t dismiss reputable medical professionals-unfortunately your friend isn’t one of them. You know what they say about birds of a feather….and quacks quacking together ;)

    You have a degree??? Was that from a cracker jack box or did you pay for it online? ;-)

    dogktor has expressed more knowledge and what can only be described as scientific vigor than all the pro- GMO fakes/ corporate snakes on this page posting! She is highly respected by all of her peers that are not paid off by biotech and admired for her courage, tenacity and willingness to go against the grain and tell the TRUTH about GMOs, concerning the lack of scientific proof for a proclamation of safety!

    Mary you are unfounded. No one pushes more pro GMO BS than you. The bottom line is we do not have any human studies which can tell us the long term effects. Without labeling we cannot do them. Wake up

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