Volume 3 Issue 1

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Abby's Magazine - January/ February 2015 | Page 11 We raised the issue of herbicide resistant weeds; that if glyphosate were used ubiquitously, then weeds would become resistant to it. at is what has happened. Readers of the book can see what scientists are saying and raising questions that aren't raised in the media. What are you trying to achieve with the book? SK: I hope that readers of the book develop their own skepticism when they read articles from mainstream press, such as the Wall Street Journal, that have been persistent in calling skeptics luddites and don't know what they are talking about. e agricultural biotech business has tried to construct the science for its commercial interests. ere is a lack of recognition of studies that don't conform to their point of view and a vilification of scientists who produce results they don't like. Chapter three is a conversation with Árpád Pusztai (who conducted research showing negative impacts to rats fed GM potatoes), an internationally respected scientist and expert on lectins. He was literally driven out of the United Kingdom and lost his job. e things said about him were unconscionable. That story needs to be told. What concerns do you have about genetically modified foods? SK: e fact that we have been eating GM corn and soy for 15 years doesn't convince me that they are safe. We had lead and PCBs in our environment for 40 to 50 years. You don't determine something is safe by forcing it in the consumer market and then waiting a number of years to say it's safe. It is true that people aren't keeling over. at's all we've shown with the introduction of GM corn and soy. But there are many ways that GMOs can affect consumers other than an immediate effect. ey can produce chronic effects on the immune system and reduce or increase nutrients in food products. We need to know if we are getting the same nutrients from GM corn as from conventional or organic corn. We need to have transparency. When scientists face controversy, they go to the literature review. I did this. I looked at articles on GMOs and health effects. I found seven from 2008 to 2014. I found that there was disagreement in the review articles. Reviewers arrived at different conclusions. One review article said that animals fed GM crops died. One or two said there were no problems, and several said there were problems. To argue that there is no controversy le in this field is nonsense. at is what I found by going deep in the literature. You can't just write it away. e tobacco industry used to say that cancer is not caused from smoking; that it must be something else. Skepticism is a really important part of being scientist. To say there is no controversy le and use a preexisting notion of what is safe and apply that to every product is not the way we do science. Biotech proponents claim the technology is precise. Do you agree with that claim? SK: When you put a gene into a plant genome you don't know where it will go. It could cause gene expression of one part to rise or to diminish.ere are circumstances when you don't want gene expression to rise. ere are toxic effects in a plant that you don't want to rise, but it could happen with GMOs. We eat certain plants for their nutrient value. An inserted gene could cause gene expression for a nutrient to go down. It's a lot more complex than saying I fed it to the mouse and it survived. It's a very simplistic view of what's safe and not safe. Note: You can obtain a copy of e GMO Deception through the Organic Connections Bookstore. Ken Roseboro Ken is editor of e Organic & Non- GMO Report. He can be reached at

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