Popular Science debunks 10 GMO claims

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In the July issue of Popular Science, the magazine tackles the topic of biotechnology and debunks many of the commonly held ideas about genetically modified food. The magazine chose 10 of the most common claims and interviewed nearly a dozen scientists to get its answers. Overall, the magazine says consumers shouldn’t worry about GMOs.

Here is the top 10 list of claims that the article debunks.

1. Genetic engineering is a radical technology.

2. GMOs are too new for us to know if they are dangerous.

3. Farmers can’t replant genetically modified seeds.

4. We don’t need GMOs—there are other ways to feed the world.

5. GMOs cause allergies, cancer and other health problems.

6. All research on GMOs has been funded by Big Ag.

7. Genetically modified crops cause famers to overuse pesticides and herbicides.

8. GMOs create super-insects and super-weeds.

9. GMOs harm beneficial insect species.

10. Modified genes spread to other crops and wild plants, upending the ecosystem.

The article also points out the main crops that have GMOs, including cheese, corn, cotton, papaya, rapeseed, soy, squash, sugarbeets and wine.

To see the full article and read how the magazine debunks the top 10 claims, click here.

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Texas  |  July, 16, 2014 at 06:43 AM

Gosh I did not know there are cheese and wine farms. Are they root crops? Are cheese farms inspected by the EPA ,FDA, and the other alphabet departments? Really whoever wrote this should do a litte research and know cheese is made from milk and wine mostly from grapes.

Vermont  |  July, 17, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Graywolf, you must not have read the short Popular Science article. The genetically engineered (GE) portion of cheese they discussed was the rennet, not the milk. Also, it was the yeast used to make the wine, not the grapes, that was GE. While there was a small skip up in the Dairy Herd article calling wine and cheese crops, it is far smaller than your slip up of commenting on something that you have absolutely no background on. The Popular Science article is very readable (you may even be able to make it through the whole thing if you try), and you may learn something if you allow yourself to take in information without judging it before you read it.

Kenneth Kirkham    
Washington State  |  July, 16, 2014 at 09:09 AM

I see they don't mention the german scientist's finding that GMO corn is likely the cause of the loss of bees. It seems based on his studies that bees that use pollen from GMO crops develop an immune deficiency and the hives are lost as the bees contract numerous diseases. Also, there is a huge difference in breeding plants for specific characteristics than attempting to splice DNA. In reality the scientists do not know what potential side effects could occur. There is a reason India banned GMO crops. When India returned to non-gmo crops they had their largest harvest on record. Tell me, why are GMO crops supposed to be so beneficial?

Iowa  |  July, 16, 2014 at 09:39 AM

My sister use to have migraine headaches and when she quit eating any food that had GMO's in them the headaches went away.

earth  |  July, 16, 2014 at 02:24 PM

So, they don't comment on how GMO food causes tumors. No surprise. Hey, lets make up and then "debunk" a myth that GMO food comes from Mars!

Rose Marie    
Michigan  |  July, 16, 2014 at 08:38 PM

Ref: Super-weeds. I read different science journal (Science, Science News, etc.) sources, super-weeds was a subject tackled in relation to GMO's. They have arrived.

IL.  |  July, 17, 2014 at 09:19 AM

Sure can tell, people want farmers to go back to 1930 style farming. That's the time labor was actual labor. Poison was real. And farmers did use poison to control insects. Today we use insects to control insects. We use bacteria to control insects. We use selective gene process aggressively. The problem is we grow them year around. Everywhere. We find things that work, Things that don't. No I am not owned by big ag. I do use their technology. It has lowered our feed conversion for our hogs by 28% by feeding GMO grains. You ask why ? Cleaner, Less kernel damage (due to insects) More of the grain is digested due to less spoilage. Less mold on grain means Healthier hogs. Healthier Hogs - Less sickness, Less animals to be treated. Less death loss, The list is never ending. I am devoted to using GMO for good reasons. You give me a good reason to stop, So far I have not seen it. It has to be proven. Just as GMO has proven to be Good for the Environment. I do research on my farm everyday. By my choosing. I test Dupont, Sygenta, Dow AgroScience, & Monsanto. They have proven to Me, GMO are better.

Dieter Harle    
Bettendorf, IA  |  July, 17, 2014 at 11:05 AM

The issue of GMO and debunking it because of some "selected" scientists say "purchased science-truth" should at least be referenced and a "counter" opinion offered. The dairy industry is the most vulnerable industry in all of this discussion as glyphosphate is used at a very high level. We have now data that many dairy farm wells - water the cows drink to produce milk without having a choice - are showing positive for glyphosphate. (this "was" not supposed to happen and is the real concern!) The claim that glyphosphate is chelating - binding nutrients at any level of intake and thus effecting the immune system of plants as well as animals and humans is supported by independent scientists from all over the world except here in the USA. Yes, we can now test mothers milk, water sources and urine for only $110. plus shipping costs from: www.microbeinotech.com. ( 3 to 4 weeks later you will then know ) I have done it on my own and a dairy farm client of mine: both tested positive! This is not just for conventional dairy farmers a concern, as "organic" or non GMO-using crop farmers have no control of their wells and where their water is coming from. This issue is real and the observation and study comes from over 40 years in the animal nutrition business and as a concerned Grand Father!

Dieter Harle    
Bettendorf, IA  |  July, 17, 2014 at 11:27 AM

I really like to visit with you a bit more about your statements including the feed efficiencies by 28 %. At best this is stretched quite a bit as the largest feed efficiencies experienced where made long before GMO crops came along in the mid 1990's. Are you willing to see the other side? Based on the "research sources" you quoted, you are apparently not aware of what glyphosphate and GMO crops cause and have effect on. Mind you, I am not against the technology, I am only proposing we do more long term studies and also more complete studies measuring immunity depression response as well as why vaccines do not work as well as they used to and why we face constantly new diseases. I am for technology with more thorough research - vs. purchased truth. I do not believe, however, that we cannot feed a hungry world without this technology that have "market-share" objectives vs. longevity in mind. We can feed many more people, as long as we keep "old-time" practice with new technologies in check and balance. At present US-Agriculture is out of balance on that issue!

David Brown    
Pullman, WA  |  July, 17, 2014 at 02:40 PM

Herbicide resistant weeds started to become a problem in the 1970s, long before GM crops were ever planted. GM crops actually reduced the problem for a while, but of course over use of any weed management practice (including tillage) will lead to the evolution of weeds that are resistant to that particular method of control. herbicide resistance http://www.nature.com/news/case-studies-a-hard-look-at-gm-crops-1.12907

David Brown    
Pullman, WA  |  July, 17, 2014 at 02:41 PM

India has not banned Bt crops, and in fact Bt cotton has been a huge boon for that country. Not only does there seem to be no evidence that farmers using Bt cotton seed are more likely to commit suicide than others, but farmers that do use the seeds appear on the whole to be benefiting from them. A 2008 meta-review of data between 2002 and 2006 “suggests that Bt cotton has been quite successful in most states and years in India, contributing to an impressive leap in average cotton yields, as well as a decrease in pesticide use and increase in farmer revenue.” The authors of this paper, published by the International Food Policy Research Institute, say that their analysis “is sufficiently well documented to discredit the possibility of a naïve direct causal or reciprocal relationship between Bt cotton and farmer suicides.” These conclusions have since been corroborated by additional studies that found that Indian farmers using Bt crops spend less money on pesticides and earn more money from higher yields. In fact, a 2013 study in PLOS ONE found that in India “the adoption of GM cotton has significantly improved calorie consumption and dietary quality, resulting from increased family incomes.” http://issues.org/30-2/keith/

IL  |  July, 17, 2014 at 07:19 PM

With all the technology, Yes we have increased our feed efficiency by 28% in the last 20 years. Most of it was made in the last 10 years. 35 years of production records prove it. Each does it's own little part in achieving that goal. Science & research, That's what it takes.

July, 20, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Martin, you should also watch out for erections lasting for more than four hours!!

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