31 March 2015

Is science on Monsanto's side?

The Blog

Monsanto's defenders compare their critics with global warming deniers, alleging they are enemies of science. Critics of the corporation, however, are more interested in how it is actually adding to the problem of global warming.

Writing at Counterpunch on 27 March, Katherine Paul, associate director of the Organic Consumers Association, noted the negative impact of industrial agriculture on the environment and accused biotech industry lobbyists of hypocrisy:
How ironic that Enright and the biotech industry would pretend to side with the scientists sounding the alarm on global warming—when the largest contributor to global warming is industrial agriculture, with its GMO monoculture crops. Anyone serious about global warming knows that our best hope is to ditch our chemical-intensive, soil-destroying industrial agriculture and replace it with organic, regenerative farming practices that restore the soil’s ability to capture carbon.
Referencing an array of new scientific literature on the dangers presented by certain chemical products - namely Monsanto's Roundup (glyphosate) utilized by agricultural giants, Paul made the incisive point that we can't rely on generalizations about food safety made by proponents of genetically modified food. It is worth noting that under most circumstances, generalizations about any food's safety are recognized to be unreasonable if there is even the smallest doubt raised by members of the public about that safety.

Paul's argument helps to illustrate how, while all other suspicions regarding food safety are taken seriously by the US government, no matter how unreasonable they may seem, GM foods have gained a strange blanket recognition as "safe" and are hurried away from their due scrutiny. Also of concern is the amount of confidentiality surrounding GM foods and the tendency of GM food companies to censor and fiercely campaign against information that they feel might harm their profits.

Despite the impressive arguments made against GM foods, The clubof.info Blog maintains that GM foods have significant potential to alleviate global hunger. As argued by Ramez Naam in his book The Infinite Resource, it is likely that human life cannot be sustained in its present numbers or greater without tolerating GM foods. In addition to this fact, many of the suspicions against GM foods are actually grounded in discredited anti-science beliefs, as argued wisely by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

There are also conspiracy theories surrounding Monsanto and other agri-giants that confuse the issue of pure "food safety versus corporate profits" that is actually at stake.

The clubof.info Blog

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