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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.

172 comments

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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

5:07AM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

@Adam A.- Seralini reproduced what Monsanto had done for 90 days only, but his ran for 2 yrs, the length of that specie's lifespan. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) commissioned a panel to investigate all the media hype about the study's veracity which validated the study, then EFSA
mandated that all future 2-yr studies be conducted using the same protocol Seralini used. I have all the links for the above. Surely it can be reproduced after that much ado back and forth to get it all sorted out.

The Popular Science article you cited is, to me, a re-write of industry propaganda, the likes of which corporate money was spent broadcasting it prior to Prop 37 in California and I 522 in Washington. At least Washington has an energetic Atty General who has sued Grocery Manufacturers Assn for setting up a front company for the purpose of money laundering and failing to file full accounts before voting day.
I should mention here that South Africa has sued Monsanto for false advertising and there have been other similar actions around the world. I'm listing below the most conclusive information that covers a range of issues. I can do the same with each of the 10 points in the Popular Science article.

I hope no one comes back with a response that "this is GMO and that is Roundup/glyphosate" or some such because they are inseparable. Where a plant takes up the herbicide from the soil as well as through the foliage, it's inside the fruit/produce and can't be washed off.

2:52AM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

Following "FoodBabe's" article about GMO ingredients in 2 brands of beer, I submitted a comment that was challenged by an obvious troll, implying that I couldn't produce a single peer-reviewed study confirming that doctors are advising patients to switch to non-GMO diets. I see some commenters here expect to have info handed to them so here's what I posted in response --

Tip of the iceberg:

From an article by Dr David Suzuki:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0069805

American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)
Doctors prescribe non-GMO diets: http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html
http://www.iowasource.com/food/2010_05_gmo.html - Same study, read comments

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

http://themanterialist.com/2014/04/13/the-mastery-of-the-self-part-one-body-diet/

http://relfe.com/2010/pigs_animals_won%27t_eat_gmo_corn_food.html

http://truthaboutpetfood.com/more-reasons-to-say-no-to-gmo - No citations

6:22PM PDT on Jul 12, 2014

I knew they were bad but not to what extent. It's not surprising, although everyone knowing the facts must surely be screaming, "stop creating them!" Why are they doing this? I thank the stars every day I live in a country where everything is correctly labelled and there are very few gmo's. Judging by some of the comments here, some people believe exactly what Monsanto et al want them to. There are none so blind as those who cannot see. Thank you for the informative article, Melissa.

5:36PM PDT on Jul 12, 2014

This article was simply terrible. I wanted to learn what cogent, well-informed arguments might be made against GMO foods, and I was open to any evidence that might be offered. Instead, I found a list of unsupported, poorly stated complaints against GMOs based on nothing but the author's fear of technology. There was not a single citation, nor any specifics as to what is supposed to be dangerous, or why. If these are the best "facts" you can produce to "win a GMO debate" then you really, really deserve to lose that debate.

5:36PM PDT on Jul 12, 2014

This article was simply terrible. I wanted to learn what cogent, well-informed arguments might be made against GMO foods, and I was open to any evidence that might be offered. Instead, I found a list of unsupported, poorly stated complaints against GMOs based on nothing but the author's fear of technology. There was not a single citation, nor any specifics as to what is supposed to be dangerous, or why. If these are the best "facts" you can produce to "win a GMO debate" then you really, really deserve to lose that debate.

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people are talking

#14 pour over ice to get rid of a bad day. Lol

...or just use rubbing alcohol, and drink the vodka.

That's odd, I have the same reaction in my bathroom every morning.

Thanks for the reminders....... I need to start walking again. Shame on me.

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