Biotechnology companies love to talk about how safe and effective their technologies are. If you’ve been paying attention to the news about genetically modified plants, you’ve probably heard corporate shills repeat at least some of the myths below. But bear in mind that myths are exactly what they are.
Myth: Genetic engineering is a continuation of traditional breeding methods
In fact, most GM crops are modified with the introduction of DNA from other species entirely. This never occurs in nature, or with traditional breeding methods.
Myth: Opponents of GM food are anti-science
Leading opponents of GM foods include the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Independent Science Panel, the U.S. Center for Food Safety, and numerous agronomic, environmental, and health scientists.
Myth: GM crops have higher yields
GM crops currently on the market do not increase yields, and in fact are not designed to. In fact, GM crops generally have lower yields.
Myth: Americans have been eating GM foods for 15 years without any health problems
How would anyone know? GM foods are not labeled in the U.S., which makes traceability impossible. There may or may not be health problems — it is carefully designed so that no one can find out.
Myth: GM food sold in the EU, at least, is clearly labeled as such
In fact, a loophole allows meat, poultry, and dairy products from livestock fed GM ingredients to be sold without a label, and some restaurants use GM cooking oil without informing customers.
In general, GM foods are worse for the environment, worse for your health, and worse for world hunger. And those who claim otherwise are probably trying to sell you something.