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    Americans Eat Their Weight in GM Food Each Year - And That's A Good Thing
    By Hank Campbell | November 6th 2012 12:45 PM | 2 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0® and co-author of "Science Left Behind".

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone...

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    Since it is almost the end of election season we will also see the end of the meme from Environmental Working Group and other anti-science organizations about genetically modified organisms.

    Okay, we won't see the end of that at all.  If you are an advocacy group, you don't raise money by noting the positive things about science, you have to try and scare people a little.  So Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace, Environmental Working Group and others accept the science consensus on global warming, because it says we are doomed, while denying the science consensus on energy and food because denying those things gives them another way to say we are doomed.

    And in election season, you look for demographic trends.  One had been clear for a while; the truly dangerous segment of the anti-science community is on the left.  Yes, yes, Republicans deny global  warming but they conserve energy as much as people who accept it.  

    But the people on the left who deny vaccines don't give their kids vaccines, and that is a lot more dangerous than Republicans who gripe about gas prices but still conserve electricity.

    This shows a striking difference in mentality. Specifics matter. The right is more inclined to accept climate change even while they don't accept global warming as scientifically accurate - climate change has less denial on the right than evolution has on the left. The left will accept something conceptually, even if the specifics are wrong, while the right will deny something conceptual because the details are wrong.  

    So the same statement can mean very different things to the left and right, just as it can to anti-science and pro-science people.  A good concept can wash away a lot of junk science sins so when the Environmental Working Group issues a claim like 'Americans Eat Their Weight in Genetically Engineered Food' they can spin it conceptually as  'if we eat so much of it, shouldn't we know it is safe?!?'

    Obviously we know it is safe because we eat so much of it.  Genetic modifications are the most thoroughly tested products in history, we know far more about GM foods than we know about why aspirin cures headaches and no medicine released into the marketplace has had a similar level of scrutiny.  GMOs have resulted in zero health issues for anyone - unless you imply it has and evil corporate science is buying off the FDA and all of science academia too.

    In other words, if you read left-wing news sites like Current.
     
    How did they derive that 'you eat your body weight in GMOs' number?  They used 2011 U.S. Department of Agriculture data on per capita consumption of sugar, corn syrup, salad oil and “corn products".
    We estimated how much of each of these foods were likely to be genetically modified. We compared the consumption figures with the latest USDA data showing that 95 percent of the sugar beets, 93 percent of the soybeans and 88 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. are genetically engineered. We also applied federal data showing that 79 percent of the salad oil consumed in the U.S. is soybean oil, and 55 percent of the sugar comes from sugar beets.
    From these figures, EWG calculated that the average American annually consumes 68 pounds of beet sugar, 58 pounds of corn syrup, 38 pounds of soybean oil and 29 pounds of corn-based products, for a total of 193 pounds.

    So what is the problem?  None, is is simply implied by putting it in their press release.  Unlike what Environmental Working Group claims on a persistent basis, GMOs are perfectly safe - far safer than bean sprouts and organic food.  Where are all the new cancers?   Do sugar beets cause autism?  Corn syrup causes autoimmune diseases?  Sure, they want you to imply that any health curve that has gone up in the last 15 years might be GMOs.

    Current writer Renee Sharp even made sure to include the mandatory 'children, minorities impacted most' angle. 

    In reality, eating your body weight in GMOs is the best endorsement they can get.  Something, somewhere would have gone wrong and yet there has been nothing ill to show for it and every major science and medical body and the Federal government is on the side of science. Try saying that about organic food.  And more GMO food has meant fewer chemicals on plants and a smaller environmental imprint, which has resulted in better yields and therefore lower emissions, all while making food in America more affordable than anywhere. The USA has led the world in dematerialization regarding agriculture in the last 30 years and science is to thank for it - the same science these advocacy groups claim is incompetent or unethical or out to kill us.

    Instilling fear and doubt about GMOs is all nonsense for political and financial gain, that is why the head of the EWG got together with other anti-science people to give perfect scores to 50 Democrats in Congress when it comes to food.  If you are someone who actually votes based on science issues (you aren't, no one does, just sayin') you now have 50 anti-science members of Congress to target.  

    Comments

    Obviously we know it is safe because we eat so much of it. Genetic modifications are the most thoroughly tested products in history, we know far more about GM foods than we know about why aspirin cures headaches and no medicine released into the marketplace has had a similar level of scrutiny. GMOs have resulted in zero health issues for anyone

    Ummm....Hank, being that this is a science blog, you surely can post links ( your 7yr old has taught you how, by now :) to all those studies which show how safe they are, now won't you?
    Those will be in a form of a double blinded (if done on humans) or single blinded (if on animals) clinical controlled feeding trials of sufficient statistical power to demonstrate safety in billions for generations and include a baseline CBC, biochemistry, urinalysis; as well as a couple of data points to measure trends.

    Links, Hank..... Links, please.

    I don't have the time to parse out the logical fallacies of mixing vaccines and other unrelated issues with GMOs...sorry....there are way too many & time =money.

    Ashwani Kumar
    "And more GMO food has meant fewer chemicals on plants and a smaller environmental imprint, which has resulted in better yields and therefore lower emissions, all while making food in America more affordable than anywhere".
    I agree.