Nobel laureates sign letter challenging Greenpeace on GM foods

The champions of genetic modification have been given support by more than 100 Nobel laureates who have signed their names to an open letter challenging Greenpeace to end its opposition to genetically modified food.

The signatories urge Greenpeace to “recognize the findings of authoritative scientific bodies and regulatory agencies, and abandon their campaign against ‘GMOs’ in general and Golden Rice in particular”.

The full list of signatories can be found here.

Their letter closes by asking:

“How many poor people in the world must die before we consider this a ‘crime against humanity?’”

The Science Media Centre, reporting on the open letter here, reminds its readers that Greenpeace has campaigned extensively in recent years against the use of Golden Rice as a “poster child for the GE crop industry”. Greenpeace says it has been “hyped as a high-tech, quick fix solution” to nutritional deficiency in an attempt to increase acceptance of genetically modified crops worldwide.

In May, the US National Academies of Sciences released an extensive report on GM crops finding no substantiated evidence of risks to human health.

More information on this report, including New Zealand expert commentary on it, is available here.

The Science Media Centre has gathered the following reaction on the open letter from New Zealand experts:

Prof Peter Dearden, Director, Genetics Otago, University of Otago, comments:

“I agree with the authors of the letter. It is time for us to stop believing that all GM is bad and to see that the benefits can far outweigh the risks.

“This is not to say we should have no regulation, but that such regulation should be evidence based and not coloured by the view that GM is necessarily bad.”

Prof Barry Scott, Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University, comments:

“Endorsement of the US National Academies report on GM crops by over 100 Nobel laureates adds considerable weight to the evidence presented in that report and challenges the extreme view of Greenpeace of total opposition to the use of GM crops.

“The new technologies associated with gene and genome editing further challenges the irrationality of such an extreme view given changes can now be made to the genome that are similar to those made by non-GM methods such as radiation treatment.”

 

 

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Dr Anna Goodwin on July 25, 2016 at 11:25 am

    The burden of proof is for industry to demonstrate safety of these products. “Substantial Equivalence” to parent foods in an in vitro digestion does not prove safety in vivo. Real Science, as it pertains to human subjects, involves phase 1-IV in vivo testing of safety, literally over decades. This industry cannot even prove the safety of Bt corn in rats. Rather than conduct further experiments, Monsanto has simply threatened anyone who tells the truth. The fast tracking of GE foods is purely based on profit motives and bears no concern for the betterment of human health. Eighty five percent of GMO foods approved for sale in New Zealand are simply designed for herbicide tolerance. How does insuring human consumption of ever-increasing amounts of herbicide residues benefit humanity? It clearly doesn’t. The “100 Nobel laureates” asking for GMO bans to be lifted should declare all of their present and future monetary rewards from industry. The end game is control of our food supply and anyone who doesn’t see that is an idiot. The Nobel prize continues to depreciate as it has been awarded to Al Gore for a stupid slide show, Obama for not being George Bush, and now its being used to bash anyone who reasonably questions the destruction of our food supply and our soil.

    Reply

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