Products certified by Non GMO Project (by a private entity – proving the government is not the only source of such information) nearly tripled last year, and Whole Foods may require GMOs to be labeled in their stores, while Trader Joe’s and Chipotle have “sworn off”
While philosophical concerns may appeal to some, fear of health effects seems to be the primary motivation for avoiding GMO foods. I have noticed no one worries about GMOs that manufacture medications.
I still find no compelling scientific evidence that GMOs are more dangerous than conventional foods.
Slate says “it’s true that the issue is complicated. But the deeper you dig, the more fraud you find in the case against GMOs. It’s full of errors, fallacies, misconceptions, misrepresentations, and lies… [Activists] defend drugs, pesticides, and non-GMO crops that are loaded with the same proteins [as the GMOs they condemn].” That’s a pretty strong statement.
The article goes on to discuss a few anti-GMO campaigns in detail, concluding that “the stories of papaya, Bt, and Golden Rice demonstrate, in several ways, that [health] concerns are unfounded.” If you’re worried I encourage you to read the article for yourself.
Slate also discusses pesticide resistance, which is a legitimate concern. Evolution doesn’t care where environmental factors come from, and weeds could become Roundup resistant. Shifting to crops that are naturally herbicide resistant also contributes to the future problem. A wise farmer will look beyond this year’s crop.
Slate also covered the super tomato: “Tomato lovers, rejoice, for science has achieved the impossible: the perfect supermarket tomato. The Garden Gem won’t bruise during shipping, it resists many of the major diseases that regularly decimate tomato crops… the Garden Gem is very different from every other supermarket tomato: flavor. It actually has it. Lots.”
Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? If your own garden tomatoes are suffering from blossom rot, like mine this year, this could be the answer. But the tomato industry (yes, apparently there is such a thing) has said “no” in what Slate calls “incomprehensible dysfunction in the tomato market.” Garden Gem would cost more, and the tomato industry does not believe consumers will pay more because they just won’t believe a supermarket tomato will taste better.
I bet they’d be cheaper than my garden-grown! (Dip into The 64 Dollar Tomato for a story crazier than mine.)
Our previous GMO posts are here.