Editor: This is a rebuttal to the Genetic Engineering Free B.C. speaking tour, which touched down in Langley on Friday.
The anti-GMO industry has ramped up their attacks on genetically engineered (GE) crops and food made from them. From GE test plot destruction to demand for GE specific labelling to calling for the banning of agriculture using GE crops, this global industry uses fear and public ignorance of the real science to advance their agenda.
The main speaker in the tour, Dr. Thierry Vrain, speaks about how “science” proved GE crops and food were causing all manners of ills.
Each of the publications he cites has been examined by experts in toxicology, food safety and health as well as national and international scientific bodies. All the publications he uses in his presentation have been rejected for a variety of reasons related to multiple breaches of the scientific method.
One such example that Vrain claims to be evidence is the Rowett paper in The Lancet. However, after reviewing the paper, the UK Royal Society said: “the reported work from the Rowett is flawed in many aspects of design, execution and analysis and that no conclusions should be drawn from it. We found no convincing evidence of adverse effects from GM potatoes.”
Another amusing bit of pseudo-science that Vrain presents as evidence is actually the most discredited paper in the history of GE research, Seralini 2012. Every food safety authority in the world has unanimously rejected this preposterous publication. The 2012 paper cited by Vrain is the third publication from this author that has been severely rebuked by world authorities.
Health Canada examined and rejected the conclusions of the Seralini paper. It said: “The overwhelming body of scientific evidence continues to support the safety of NK603, genetically modified food and feed products in general, and glyphosate containing herbicides. However, whenever new information concerning the safety of an authorized product arises, this new data is carefully reviewed.”
Vrain rejects virtually all North American research, claiming it is inaccurate and biased.
The European Academies Science Advisory Council wrote “There is no validated evidence that GM crops have greater adverse impact on health and the environment than any other technology used in plant breeding. There is compelling evidence that GM crops can contribute to sustainable development goals with benefits to farmers, consumers, the environment and the economy.”
The American Association for the Advancement of Science said it best: “The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants, modified by conventional plant improvement techniques.”
Every example Vrain puts forward has been examined and dismissed by world food, health and science experts. This fact seems to be irrelevant to him. Simply put, he is promoting fear not facts.
Vancouver IslanD University,