Home ] Leadership ] About Bill ] News ] Chuck ]



                                                                                                                            Bill Rowell

                                                                                                                           April 14th, 2014

                                                           The GMO Issue                                                    

    I would like to speak from the perspective of both farmer and consumer as we look at this anti GMO sentiment that has continued to surface.

    I do understand that as a consumer we are concerned with "the quality" and "the integrity" of the food we eat, I know that I am, and I would expect no less from anyone else.

    I have also come to understand that a Genetically Modified crop amounts to activating the preferred traits of a plant within that plants genome, these crops have been developed to be more drought tolerant, disease resistant, and produce a greater yield, they also require less pesticide, less herbicide, less fuel and less labor to grow.

     The crop yield of today, here in the U.S, would have required an additional 490 million acres to produce a similar result during the 1930"s. It is generally recognized that animal agriculture is heavily dependent upon grains and forages, there is great competition world wide for much of what is produced here, and taking it for granted would be a mistake.

    I was doing a bit of research when I came across a document published by The Center for Food Integrity, it discusses GMO advances in agriculture, early objections related to their impact on eco systems, and possible longterm negative environmental consequences.

    British author and environmentalist, Mark Lynas, helped form this anti GMO movement during the 1990's; GMO Inside. In January of 2013 he made a public statement: " the GM debate is over, it is finished. We no longer need to discuss whether or not it is safe, over a decade and a half later, with more than 3 trillion GM meals eaten there has never been a single substantiated case of harm. You are more likely to get hit by an asteroid than get hurt by GM food." 

    His statement, was then followed by an extensive list of respected science based organizations that have issued their own statements indicating that GM foods are safe:

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Medical Association

World Health Organization

National Academy of Sciences

American Council on Science and Health

American Society for Cell Biology

American Society for Microbiology

American Society of Plant Biologists

International Seed Foundation

Council for Agriculture Science and Technology

Crop Science Society of America

Society for In Vitro Biology

Society of Toxicology

Royal Society of Medicine (UK)

European Commission

French Academy of Science

Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities

International Society of African Scientists

International Council for Science

    We have seen a good deal of controversy raised over the subject of genetically modified food, in fact, our General Assembly here in Vermont recently focused on legislation to require the labeling of GMO products. In Washington, at the federal level, Representatives Pompeo (R-Ks) and Butterfield (D-NC), along with a number of their colleagues, have introduced legislation which would nullify the efforts of various states to label genetically modified foods. In introducing their legislation it was stated that every major health organization has determined that GMO's have no detrimental health effect. They further pointed out that Scientists from Italy recently reviewed nearly 2,000 different studies of GMO's and failed to find a single credible study to indicate they are unsafe or different from foods grown without this technology. The gentleman from Kansas also pointed out at a news conference, where the legislation was introduced, that " some of the campaigns in many states to require labeling aren't really to inform consumers, but are actually aimed at scaring them."

    In all that I have found as a result of my research, it would seem that GMO's have been studied extensively for more than 20 years, and the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community is that Genetically Modified foods DO NOT pose a risk to consumers.

    I would conclude by saying that I strongly believe each of us are entitled to our own opinion, but that opinion does not entitle any of us to our own science. Period!

The apparent smoking gun here is an attitude being used to stir controversy and generate propaganda, credibility appears to have been substituted with sentiment in order to promote an anti GMO agenda.

Home ] Leadership ] About Bill ] News ] Chuck ]

CONTACT :  billrowell@billrowell.org