Tuesday, September 3, 2013

GMOs: Safe or scary?

I’m an easy mark for an anti-GMO campaign.  In the modern world of loosely regulated multinational corporations, it seems reasonable to assume that Big Agriculture, like Big Tobacco and Big Pharma and all the other Bigs, is far more interested in shareholder profit than it is in protecting people like you and me and our families and friends.

But it’s hard to get clear, unbiased information on a subject as complex as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  Monsanto and its competitors are so big, and the tip-of-the-iceberg glimpses we get of their mendacity so horrifying, that I’m loath to entrust my personal health, and that of future generations, to their assurances that all they want to do is use technology to feed the world.  

So, all that said, while I see and acknowledge a propaganda tone on the other side of the issue in this YouTube video urging passage of the I-522 initiative in Washington State, it speaks to my concerns, and it raises questions that I’d like to see answered, ideally by neutral third parties, if such a thing exists.

Bottom line, though, I’m wary of GMOs, and inclined to seek organic corn and soy products, in particular, in hope of minimizing my exposure.

And I can’t help wondering, if GMOs are safe, why does the industry - Monsanto in particular - fight so hard against the simple practice of labeling GMOs in our food and drink?  Don’t we have a right to know?

Watch the 6-minute video here.  Granted its campaign-pitch tone, it raises a lot of good questions.

This Seattle Times infographic (also pictured above right) provides a basic overview of GMOs, what they are and how they work.