Mainstream media has increasingly embraced the position of the American Council on Science and Health, and our legacy of Nobel laureate Dr. Norm Borlaug. An article in the Washington Post points that out once again, discussing haphazard and irrational that stance is.
Those who have been following the anti-GMO movement have surely heard of Bt, short for Bacillus thuringiensis. This is a bacterium, found in soil, that produces a protein that is lethal to crop-eating insects. Organic farmers love it, they have been spraying this toxic pesticide on their crops for as long as Bt spray has existed. The downside is that since it doesn’t stick around, repeated spraying is necessary.
To organic proponents, invariably anti-GMO activists, Bt spray is good. Then why is corn, genetically engineered to naturally produce the Bt protein that the spray is based on, reducing the use of pesticides, unnatural? Instead of being delighted to save the time and money involved with spraying, environmental activists like Natural Resources Defense Council, with their hundreds of millions of dollars gained by promoting fear and doubt about science, have gotten organic farmers up in arms about this advance, saying that “their” organic pesticide had been stolen by big, bad GMO corporations. NRDC, Environmental Working Group, and their media megaphones like Mother Jones and Natural News, have even gone so far as to claim crops grown using naturally expressed Bt are dangerous to health, while organic farmers spraying it as a toxic pesticide, with no controls on application frequency and dosing, are okay.
The Post article also points this out, noting that consumers eating organic crops sprayed with Bt are likely consuming MORE of it than are people eating the GMO variety. How’s that for just plain silliness?
Dr. Ruth Kava, American Council on Science and Health’s Senior Nutrition Fellow, had this comment: “The Washington Post article points out how completely illogical and unscientific the anti-GMO movement is. By preying on people’s fears of the unknown, it helps no one but the organic foods business. It makes no difference to human health whether a protein is sprayed on a crop or incorporated into the plant itself. What the GMO variety might be, however, is better for the environment, since less spraying means less fuel for farm equipment use.” Continuing, Dr. Kava offered this advice: “For accurate information about genetic engineering and agriculture, see the ACSH publication Food and You: A Guide to Modern Agricultural Biotechnology.”
Republished in modified form from the American Council on Science and Health. Read the original article here.