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How to Win a GMO Debate: 10 Facts Why GM Food is Bad

8. GMOs harm the environment.
GM crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses. GM canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds.

9. GMOs do not increase yields, and work against feeding a hungry world.
Whereas sustainable non-GMO agricultural methods used in developing countries have conclusively resulted in yield increases of 79% and higher, GMOs do not, on average, increase yields at all. This was evident in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2009 report Failure to Yield―the definitive study to date on GM crops and yield.

The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report, authored by more than 400 scientists and backed by 58 governments, stated that GM crop yields were “highly variable” and in some cases, “yields declined.” The report noted, “Assessment of the technology lags behind its development, information is anecdotal and contradictory, and uncertainty about possible benefits and damage is unavoidable.” They determined that the current GMOs have nothing to offer the goals of reducing hunger and poverty, improving nutrition, health and rural livelihoods, and facilitating social and environmental sustainability.
On the contrary, GMOs divert money and resources that would otherwise be spent on more safe, reliable, and appropriate technologies.

10. By avoiding GMOs, you contribute to the coming tipping point of consumer rejection, forcing them out of our food supply.
Because GMOs give no consumer benefits, if even a small percentage of us start rejecting brands that contain them, GM ingredients will become a marketing liability. Food companies will kick them out. In Europe, for example, the tipping point was achieved in 1999, just after a high profile GMO safety scandal hit the papers and alerted citizens to the potential dangers. In the US, a consumer rebellion against GM bovine growth hormone has also reached a tipping point, kicked the cow drug out of dairy products by Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Dannon, Yoplait, and most of America’s dairies.

Jeffrey M. Smith is the director of the Institute for Responsible Technology and is one of the world’s leading advocates against GM foods. His book Seeds of Deception is rated the number one book on the subject and has had a substantial influence on public perception and even legislation. Smith has reached tens of millions of people through hundreds of media interviews. He is also the author of Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.

Related:

First GM Plants Found in the Wild
GM Insecticide Found in Streams

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Environment, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, Nature & Wildlife

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

177 comments

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8:25AM PST on Dec 11, 2014

How to win a GMO argument

Present 10 false or misleading facts as TRUE

7:56AM PST on Dec 11, 2014

I'm sorry but much of this article is exaggerated nonsense. Its just tiring in the extreme to continually see this misinformation repeated over and over, not to mention the time it tales to play "citation wars," where each side throws published paper citations that claim to refute the others' claims at each other.

So please consider this, everyone agrees that GMO products are used in about 80% of the processed foods we consume and this number has been high for years, also our animals have been eating things like GMO corn even longer. Fine. This means we have all been consuming GMO products for quite some time, So the question becomes where is all the evidence of obvious damage that should be everywhere? I don't see hospitals filling up with poisoned people, nor bodies piling up in the streets, dead farm animals everywhere, etc. So in spite of what a few odd-ball lab results seem to indicate, YEARS of consumption of these materials has not produced every day evidence of harm. How do you explain that? In the absence of such evidence the only conclusion that my sense of logic allows is that GMOs are not harmful. When the day to day evidence changes, i'll change my opinion, but not before.

12:45AM PST on Dec 10, 2014

Thank you Melissa. Food for thought which we all need to consider carefully. GMO's are not acceptable and we have to fight against Monsanto and other companies pushing for GMO'S !

12:33AM PST on Dec 10, 2014

The argument in number 7, where they say that vThe journal Nature acknowledged that a “large block of scientists . . . denigrate research by other legitimate scientists in a knee-jerk, partisan, emotional way that is not helpful in advancing knowledge.”

Is actually from this paper in Nature: http://www.nature.com/scitable/content/ne0000/ne0000/ne0000/ne0000/7287905/Battlefield-GMO.pdf#toolbar=0 and the quote is taken out of context and is actually used FOR THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ARGUMENT. The quote was talking about how anti-GMO scientists are quick to discount evidence that GMOs are okay. That, my friend, along with many other things people have pointed out, is a gross mistake.

10:28AM PST on Dec 6, 2014

I just spent 4 months writing a research paper about the benefits of GMOs and found this article to be rather bad. The author overlooks the fact that GMOs Decrease Insecticide use by 10 fold. Also saying that GMOs do not increase yield is false, most GM row crops have a 10-15% yield increase. BT corn one of the most widely used varieties of corn in the U.S. gets its pest resistance from the bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis found in USDA organic insecticides. BT corn also has amazing drought tolerance. GM crops also are more widely used with low till planting methods, which reduce agricultural runoff. also there has been NO correlation between GMOs and ill health effects, those concern are just speculation. I do not think GMOs are perfect but the controversy around them is perceived hysteria. GMOs are not going anywhere, and if people think we can feed such a rapidly growing population without the help of GMOs it will blow up in their faces.

8:48AM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

http://www.popsci.com/article/science/core-truths-10-common-gmo-claims-debunked

11:10PM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

I didn't even bother reading the rest of the article after the first point.

IGF-1 is not a hormone, it is a peptide. The only link it has to cancer is that it has the ability to grow tumors that are already present, however there have been no studies that have recorded the enlargement of a cancerous tumor, only the growth of naturally occuring tumors in mice.

I would also like to point out that it doesn't mix well with your stomach acid and will be destroyed before it reaches you blood stream.

You cannot make the claim that GMO's are unhealthy, then say there is no studies to support a link between the data used in your argument.

12:58PM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

The title of this piece is a little messed up... Focusing more on winning an argument about GMO's rather than getting the real unbiased truth out there.

5:12AM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

End of list, intact:
American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)
Doctors prescribe non-GMO diets: http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html

5:08AM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

continued:
Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Produce Teratogenic Effects on Vertebrates by Impairing Retinoic Acid Signaling -- http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx1001749

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809416/ - Genetic Chromosome Damage

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19539684 - Endocrine Disruptors

Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Jun 8. Epub 2013 Jun 8. PMID: 23756170

Moms Across America has some of the above and some I haven't listed in this article:
http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/glyphosate_testing_results - Problems named include birth
defects, residue in mothers' milk, umbilical cord blood serum, drinking water, aerial spray
effects, soil bacteria, gut bacteria, etc. There is hardly anything that isn't adversely affected
in one way or another!

http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/our-failing-food-system/industrial-agriculture/the-rise-of-superweeds.html

http://foodintegritynow.org/2014/05/08/dr-thierry-vrain-former-gmo-scientist-speaks/

http://www.minds.com/blog/view/268122436501770240/confirmed-dna-from-genetically-modified-crops-can-be-transferred-into-humans-who-eat-them

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/11/25/geneticist-david-suzuki-says-humans-are-part-of-a-massive-genetic-experiment/


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809416/ Genetic Chromosome Damage

American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)
Doctors presc

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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