Sunday, February 1, 2015

Scientists - General Public - Disagree on GM food Safety.

A recent poll by the Pew Research Center reveals that members of the general public have differing views, regarding questions on "science", from members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

As reported by Cary Funk and Lee Rainie, "there are particularly stark differences across the board in these surveys". The survey covers the hot button issues of global warming, childhood vaccines and evolution, but the largest differences are found in the opinions about the safety of eating genetically modified (GM) foods.

Accordingly, 88% of AAAS members believe that GM foods are generally safe to eat. Only 37% of U.S. adults are of the same opinion.

One gets the impression from the article that the average American adult is ignorant regarding science. That may, or may not be true, but the question regarding genetically modified foods doesn't get any clearly when we have articles, like this one from that claim "there is no 'Scientific Consensus' on the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMO)".

The GlobalResearch article links to a statement signed by over 300 scientists and legal experts to the effect that there is “No consensus” on the safety of genetically modified (GM) crops and foods that has now been published in a peer-reviewed open access journal, Environmental Sciences Europe.

So, are GM foods safe?

We get this from the World Health Organisation (WHO)

Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.

GM foods currently available on the international market have passed safety assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved. Continuous application of safety assessments based on the
Codex Alimentarius principles and, where appropriate, adequate post market monitoring, should form the basis for ensuring the safety of GM foods.

One of the more interesting comments on GM foods comes from Cardinal Peter Turkson ,who generally favors GM foods:

“The world's food security challenges are not to be overcome with a referendum on science.” “…The Church is not anti-science. Nor do we wish to promote a referendum on technology or biotechnology.”

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