A call for GMO labeling
February 3rd, 2014
06:00 PM ET
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Editor's note: David Schubert is professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Most people like to know what they are eating. However, labeling for genetically modified organisms is not required in any state. This is largely because of the money expended by GM seed producers toward blocking food-labeling laws.

A common claim made by this group is that GM foods have been proved safe to eat and that there is a global scientific consensus to support this statement; therefore, no labeling is needed.

However, an examination of the scientific data, along with discussions on this topic in other countries, show that both claims are blatantly false. What is the evidence that some GM foods are hazardous to human health and that consumers should be able to make a choice based upon this information?

When GMOs were introduced nearly 20 years ago, there was the promise of crops with increased yields and resistant to flooding and salt. Since then, traditional breeding methods have created commercial varieties with these traits, while genetic engineering has created none. For example, recently published data show that conventional breeding of corn and soy increases yields to a greater extent than GM technologies.

With the promise of reducing the use of agricultural chemicals, most of the current GM crops are supposedly either insect or herbicide resistant. In reality, GM crops have fostered an epidemic of herbicide resistant weeds and insects that are no longer killed by the built-in toxins.

The result is a massive increase in herbicide use - an additional 527 million pounds over the past 16 years. The major herbicide, glyphosate, is found inside the GM plants we eat, leading to its detection in people. Future GM crops will likely trigger a greater use of more toxic herbicides such as 2,4-D, a component of the Agent Orange defoliant deployed in Vietnam. In addition to these problems, there is increasing evidence that GM crops and the chemicals required for their production are harmful to humans.

Read - Why we need GMO labels

Read all GMO coverage on Eatocracy

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soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Wanda Patsche

    I am a farmer and we do use GMOs on our farm. I can tell you that we do use LESS herbicides and the herbicides are LESS toxic than the ones we used prior to GMO technology. And, yes, over time weeds do become resistant. That's why they are called weeds. We as farmers are concerned about our environment and our food also. We eat, drink and breathe the same as everyone else. That's why we use scientifically verified research in which we make our decisions.

    February 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
  2. David Johnson

    We definitely need to outlaw all Monsanto products and get back to natural organics. All of these crazy chemicals must cause cancer and out of control weeds. Life will continue to build up natural defenses to whatever chemicals we decide to throw at the "insect" issue so lets just keep it safe and organic. So many diseases and illnesses caused by bad diets and GMO foods can be stopped but these corporations won't stop until the public awareness is raised and we ban them from the shelves. Spend a few extra dollars for organic, natural foods and add a few extra years or more to your life. Simple choice!

    February 5, 2014 at 10:13 am |
  3. shawn l

    This is what happens when pseudoscience and ignorance rules the day.

    February 5, 2014 at 3:51 am |
  4. Robert Wager

    "Most people like to know what they are eating" So how does one breeding method on a label help with that? No one is calling "made with radiation mutagenesis" or made with chemical mutagenesis' on organic food. Only one breeding method is being singled out. Every single food safety authority in the world, every health authority and every National Academy of Science all agree there is no new risks from food made by GE breeding.


    February 5, 2014 at 12:38 am |
    • jasmin


      Basically from the horses mouth....

      February 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • Robert Wager

        Try this from Vrains hometown newspaper.

        February 7, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
  5. journeytowardsinnerpeace

    What a biased, unfactual collection of words. All because you scream loud noises, it does not mean that they are factual. Sourcing another article that makes misleading statements does not make for a trustworthy article. As a fellow democrat and supporter of the earth, it is disappointing to hear this news from Professor Shubert. I agree that GMO labeling is a right of the consumer to know what is going into their food - but scare tactics that make consumers believe that GMOs are unhealthy is grossly inaccurate and makes you look as incompetent as conservatives who still believe that global warming isn't happening.

    I STRONGLY encourage all readers to search for and read unbiased, credible sources about the pros and cons of GMOs to determine themselves. I've read a lot on the topic and why the conversation is biased and many of the sources are inaccurate, you can find the information if you look for it.

    February 4, 2014 at 9:53 am |
    • Socrates

      What a terrible and unscientific article. Just more nonsense!

      February 13, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
  6. glutenfreerecipessimple

    Reblogged this on Only gluten free recipes.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:59 am |
    • Ganthor the Troglodyte Troll

      I claim this spot on behalf of all troglodytes and ignoramuses in the land of Krangoghan! Oh wait...

      February 4, 2014 at 8:34 am |
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