Dear Dr. Walt,
Are GMOs safe or not? “Experts” seem aligned on both sides of this debate. So, what say ye?
—Nosey in New Hampshire
Dear Food Fanatic,
First of all, see my blog from last week (The Down Low on GMOs) for some basic information. After reading that blog, a dear friend, who is a physician and who just achieved Board Certification in Pediatric Integrative Medicine, wrote:
Having formerly assumed the widespread concern over GMO was to a large degree hype, I plunged into studying about it, and happened to get to know and have heard multiple presentations by Stephanie Seneff. This completely changed my mind to where I now am convinced GMO is among the most significant detrimental things in our environment.
You can read more about Dr. Seneff in this blog, “Oh, no! GMOs are going to make everyone autistic!” But, at the very least, one can conclude that the debate about the safety of GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) has been intense and I’ve had trouble myself sorting out the wheat from the chaff.
But now we all have the considered opinion not of “this or that expert,” but rather, of the well-respected National Academies of Sciences (NAS) to refer to.
The NAS recently released an exhaustive 388-page report based upon a two-years review by a committee of more than 50 scientists, researchers, and agricultural and industry experts, who reviewed more than 900 studies and data covering the 20 years since genetically modified crops were first introduced. What was their conclusion? It boils down to this?
“Genetically engineered crops are safe for humans and animals to eat and have not caused increases in cancer, obesity, gastrointestinal illnesses, kidney disease, autism or allergies.”
Overall the report concluded that there were NO differences in terms of a higher risk to human health between foods made from genetically engineered crops and those made from conventionally raised crops.
Nevertheless, more than half of American consumers are concerned about the safety or other effects of foods made with genetically modified crops and believe genetically modified foods pose a health hazard.
It’s yet to be seen if this comprehensive scientific report will influence those beliefs as the sale of non-GMO products is soaring.
So, Food Fanatic, you can take the professional opinion of :this or that expert,” or you can take the professional opinion of “more than 50 scientists, researchers, and agricultural and industry experts.” My choice, at least for now, is “B.”