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Jonathan Lundgren Says USDA Suppressed Him Over Neonicotinoids - They Say He's An Activist Not Doing His Job

Jonathan Lundgren, a US Department of Agriculture currently on leave facing misconduct charges...

Naomi Oreskes And Denialism About The Scientific Consensus On GMOs And Nuclear Energy

"We can think of scientific knowledge as a consensus of experts."--Naomi Oreskes"There is a tendency...

Neonicotinoids And The Beepocalypse That Never Was

Like the fictional parents in the edgy comedy show South Park who blame Canada for all of their...

Chipotle’s GMO Gimmick Turned Them Into The Public Face Of Science Illiteracy

Chipotle wins the science ‘foot in mouth’ award for 2015, and we are not even to summer yet...

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Jon EntineRSS Feed of this column.

Jon Entine is the founding director of the independent foundation funded Genetic Literacy Project. He is a senior fellow at the World Food Center Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy at the... Read More »


Last week, in Part I of this two part series, "Bee Deaths Mystery Solved?

Reports that honey bees are dying in unusually high numbers has concerned many scientists, farmers and beekeepers, and  gripped the public. There have been thousands of stories ricocheting across the web, citing one study or another as the definitive explanation for a mystery that most mainstream experts say is complex and not easily reducible to the kind of simplistic narrative that appeals to advocacy groups.

This is part one of a two-part series that will examine this phenomenon: how complex science is reduced to ideology, how scientists and journalists often facilitate that--and its problematic impact on public policy, the environment and in this case the wondrous honey bee.

What will McDonald’s do?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday cleared a genetically engineered potato with two innovations that help both consumers and producers: The Simplot Innate potato resists bruising, which makes it more appealing to consumers (even though bruising generally does not impact the quality of the starchy vegetable); and it’s been modified to produce less of the chemical acrylamide when fried.

Acrylamide has been linked to cancer in rats although there is no clear evidence that it poses harm to humans.

In 2013, when PLoS One published a research paper, Complete Genes May Pass from Food to Human Blood, anti-GMO activists claimed they had proof that GMOs can “transfer” into our bodies, and threaten human health.

Now it turns out the hysteria they tried to generate was based on a study that its researchers believe went awry.

If one believes the backers of mandatory labeling initiatives in Colorado and Oregon, Tuesday’s vote is simple common sense: It’s about the “right to know” what’s in our food.

This is the beguiling message pushed by a myriad of activists linked to such organizations as Right to Know GMO, Label GMOs and Just Label It. It’s powerful and superficially persuasive.

As happened in both California and Washington state referendums in recent years, what seemed like an easy path to victory for supporters of a mandatory GMO labeling law in Oregon has turned into a dog fight as the voting nears, while voters in Colorado appear poised to soundly reject the measure.