Biotech Crop Safety Scientific Consensus Confirmed by National Academy of Sciences

"No substantiated evidence of a difference in risks to human health between current commercially available genetically engineered (GE) crops and conventionally bred crops"



The National Academy of Sciences finds that modern biotech crops are safe to eat and safe for the environment in a new comprehensive report, Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects, released today. Let's just go through the highlights:

Effects on human health. The committee carefully searched all available research studies for persuasive evidence of adverse health effects directly attributable to consumption of foods derived from GE [genetically engineered] crops but found none. Studies with animals and research on the chemical composition of GE foods currently on the market reveal no differences that would implicate a higher risk to human health and safety than from eating their non-GE counterparts. Though long-term epidemiological studies have not directly addressed GE food consumption, available epidemiological data do not show associations between any disease or chronic conditions and the consumption of GE foods.

There is some evidence that GE insect-resistant crops have had benefits to human health by reducing insecticide poisonings. In addition, several GE crops are in development that are designed to benefit human health, such as rice with increased beta-carotene content to help prevent blindness and death caused by vitamin A deficiencies in some developing nations.

Effects on the environment. The use of insect-resistant or herbicide-resistant crops did not reduce the overall diversity of plant and insect life on farms, and sometimes insect-resistant crops resulted in increased insect diversity, the report says. While gene flow – the transfer of genes from a GE crop to a wild relative species – has occurred, no examples have demonstrated an adverse environmental effect from this transfer. Overall, the committee found no conclusive evidence of cause-and-effect relationships between GE crops and environmental problems. However, the complex nature of assessing long-term environmental changes often made it difficult to reach definitive conclusions.

The NAS study committee was concerned about the evolution of herbicide resistant weeds and pesticide resistant insects, but noted that agronomic changes could manage the pest resistance problem. The committee also noted that the advent of GE crops had not speeded up the trajectory of yield increases in U.S. crops. However, there is considerable evidence that biotech crops contribute to significant yield increases for farmers in developing countries. 

So Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Organic Consumers Association, and the Center for Food Safety, I invite you all to endorse the strong scientific consensus on the safety of biotech crops.

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  1. So, the science is settled now, right? Damn hippies will STFU? Thanks, folks, you're a great audience. I'll be here all week. Try the tofu, tip your waitress.

    1. Tip the veal and try the waitress.

  2. But they're still spiritually unclean. I fucking love science, but not when it says something like that.

    1. [golf clap]

  3. Yet when I put my reproductive material onto crops I get arrested and hit with restraining orders. It's all about the politics!

  4. So Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Organic Consumers Association, and the Center for Food Safety, I invite you all to endorse the strong scientific consensus on the safety of biotech crops

    I barely saw any mention of the Glyphosate stories in the major news sources.

    The way consensus deals with "facts" is to ignore them.

    1. ^This. As late as yesterday I was still seeing bullshit from some group called Moms Across America still pushing anti-glyophosate hysteria. Whenever I encounter a political advocacy group with the words "moms" or "mothers" my alarms go off.

      1. You M.A.D.D., bro?

      2. You know who else had their attention piqued by mothers?

        1. Oedipus?

    2. Shills for Big Corn! Argle-Bargle!

  5. Ol' Bailey is really churning out the content today. He must have a long weekend in a fabulous resort at an exotic location on the docket. Enjoy, Ron!

  6. It's tempting to say that the National Academy of Sciences also goes all-in on climate change, so why believe them here.

    But it may be that the way to evaluate their them is to ask: Which side of a controversial issue employs more scientists? That may well be the side the NAS will take.

    So yes on biotech agriculture because those crazy Luddites against it are so unscientific. But yes on climate change because those crazy pro-market growth advocates against it are so unscientific.

    1. It's tempting to say that the National Academy of Sciences also goes all-in on climate change, so why believe them here.

      My first thought exactly. But then I realized I have no principles and consensus is good when I agree with it.

      1. The only consensus that matters is mine.

        The lawn you're standing on is mine.


        WHERE ARE THE PM Links?!?

    2. It's worth noting that scientific consensus isn't about consensus of opinion, it's about consensus of evidence. The fact that 97% of scientists believe any particular thing doesn't necessarily mean anything about what the evidence says about that thing. One would hope that they closely correspond, but they might not for various reasons.

      If no one is allowed to see the Emperor of China, and you go around the country asking people how long his nose is, and you compile a stupendous amount of statistics about the length of his nose, how much have you learned, in the end, about how long his nose is?

      1. One would hope that they closely correspond, but they might not for various reasons.

        Consensus is remarkable when the outcome is an excuse for bigger and more expansive government. Not that people would allow themselves to be swayed by what grant agencies (i.e., government) would like to see as outcomes. No sir, no way. Cuz that's not all science integrity and shit.

      2. There's no such thing as a 'consensus of evidence'.

        It's a preponderance of evidence.

        Consensus isn't relevant in science--no one cares what anyone feels or thinks about the science.

        And the preponderance of evidence--acquired via searching through the relevant experiments and studies shows that GMOs are safe.

    3. Which side of a controversial issue employs more academic scientists? That may well be the side the NAS will take.


  7. Looks like Rico is (not) doing the PM links, again.

    1. I believe your prediction to be accurate.

    2. Frankenlinks

    3. Tonio, you should post your PM links prediction like yesterday.

      1. My precognition not working today.

    4. Prediction:
      He's going to phone it in.


    6. Damn millenials.

  8. OT, and holy shitballs..

    DC must now be shall issue.

    Of course it only takes an appeal and a prog nominated to the supes to unravel all that good work.

    1. NOICE!

    2. Good news, but it's only a preliminary injunction. We've also seen the DC government wipe their asses with court opinions, churlishly claiming that they didn't think those applied to them. And you left out the best part.

      Matthew Grace and the Pink Pistols ("the world's largest GLBT self-defense organization," with the motto "Pick On Someone Your Own Caliber") have just won a preliminary injunction against D.C.'s provision that, to get a gun carry license, the applicant must show a "good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property" or "any other proper reason for carrying a pistol." (An earlier decision, Wrenn v. D.C., reached the same result but was set aside on procedural grounds: The judge who decided that case was an out-of-district judge designated to hear particular cases, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that Wrenn wasn't one of those cases.)

      [suck it, snowconez]

      1. Nice. I like that.

        The Pink Pistols get solid support from fellow gun owners. And that's a great thing.

      2. Only Nixon could go to China, I guess.

    3. Of course it only takes an appeal and a prog nominated to the supes to unravel all that good work.

      -1 Merrick Garland

  9. Late links are bullshit! I discard thee!

    1. From Hell's heart I stab at thee! With my last breath I spit at thee!

    1. Maybe Robby hates Fist.

      1. Who the hell doesn't?

        1. The best way to hate Fist would be to post a fake set of links and immediately follow up with the real ones.

          But that would be a lot of work.

          Sort of like getting a Masters in Journalism from Columbia.

    2. Sometimes I wonder if he even wants to work here anymore.

    3. Like any good Millennial, he called in sick and is currently facebooking his treehouse project.

  10. I'll repost in the PM links, if they ever show up.

    Start on page 7.

    The Saudis are in deep shit. Deep, deep shit.

    I dare Obama to veto the resolution from today.

    1. Can you summarize?

      1. Certain segments of the Saudi Government were complicit in 9/11, both before and after the fact.

        1. So when does the invasion start?

          1. We're just going to take about $6 trillion in Saudi assets instead.

            1. To be fair, we could sure use it about right now.

              1. The Obama plan to balance the budget?

                Always knew it would involve theft; did not expect it to be from someone other than us.

                1. That's where the other $14 trillion comes from.

      2. tl;dr: The 9/11 hijackers were Saudis.

        I know, right? Nobody's connected the dots on the relationship between Osama bin Laden and Saudi Arabia - the country he's from and where his family's from and where all his money came from and where nobody gets any money except more or less as a government allowance because it's really just one family that runs the whole place?

        Nobody knows our bestest buds in the Middle East are some of the biggest evilest anti-American Islamic pieces of shit who have enough money to keep terrorists out of their own country by paying them to go be terrorists somewhere else and they don't much care where somewhere else is? And we've been protecting these guys for so long because they're the ones effectively controlling the world's oil supply - up until we invented fracking and now who gives two shits how much oil they control because we don't need it so now we can start telling them what we really think of them?

        Yeah, funny how all this stuff didn't get widely publicized as long as they had us over an oil barrel and now suddenly people start "discovering" this sort of thing.

    2. Is this leaked, or was it officially released?

      1. Memos of still classified material.

        1. Release that shit already.

    3. See if you can post it in whatever newspaper Obama reads too

      1. I don't have any crayons.

  11. PM Links:

    Vacancy solution for Vancouver? Tear down old rental buildings

    Since 2007, the City of Vancouver, for the most part according to Goodman, has effectively held on to a moratorium on the demolition of low rise walk-ups. A rate-of-change bylaw since the 80's has always protected old rental stock, but the outright freeze, says Goodman, has paralyzed the market.

    "They are suppressing, artificially, the growth of these areas, [by] protecting existing tenants, but penalizing the waves of new people coming in to the city."

    Goodman's blunt assessment: a series of news stories almost a decade ago about people being forced from their apartments by landlords who wanted to renovate the units, and subsequently charge much higher rents, pushed the city to ban demolitions altogether to avoid the bad press.

    Government meddles in market, fucks it up: more at 11.

    1. Let me guess. There is also some kind of rent control on many or most of those older apartments.

      1. Rent control on individual apartments? What is this, America?

        From the Tenancy Act (province-wide)

        Landlords can only increase the rent once a year by an amount permitted by law or an additional amount approved in advance by an arbitrator ? they need to use the right form and give the tenant three full months' notice of the rent increase.

        The maximum allowable rent increase changes each year. The limits for residential tenancies and manufactured home park tenancies are different.

        For residential tenancies, the standard allowable rent increase for 2016 is 2.9%
        For manufactured home park tenancies, the standard allowable rent increase for 2016 is 2.9% plus a proportional amount for the change in local government levies and regulated utility fees

  12. Like a strong scientific consensus is any sort of principle to base any belief on. It's just an appeal to popularity disguised as an appeal to authority, as valid as any other sort of rhetorical device. If they don't fall for that, you've got strawman, ad hominem, false equivalency, non sequitur, question begging, circular reasoing - so many fallacious arguments to choose from. And the fact that they're fallacious only matters if you're trying to medal in the Arguing Olympics or something - if you're only interested in winning the argument the ol' argumentum ad baculum works just fine.

    1. If you define "belief" as "something that you believe to be true", yes, scientific evidence is a good thing to base a belief on.

      Or are you saying that moral principles shouldn't change when a new study comes out? That's true enough.

    2. To embellish a bit on what Warty is saying, there is a difference between a scientific consensus and a consensus among scientists.

      You can never get anywhere if you don't generally trust (with appropriate skepticism) scientific consensus. We stand on the shoulders of giants and all that. Most of what any of us "knows" is just stuff that other people told us. You have to appeal to authority to some degree to advance in knowledge at all. That doesn't mean you don't also have to be open to the possibility that the authority is wrong or that scientific consensus can occasionally get things very wrong.

      1. I took Warty's argument in the context of Bailey's mention of consensus very differently.

        Believing the consensus is immaterial and, IMO, the call to agreement with it is empty platitude. We've hashed this out several times over on these very forums. Your average plumber, programmer... even economists and engineers can live several entire lifetimes believing that the Earth it

      2. Wow, squirrels ate my last sentence;

        If no one has seen the Emporer's nose, neither the scientific consensus nor the consensus among scientists tells you anything more or less than you already knew by virtue of the fact that the Emperor is probably human or, at least, not an elephant.

  13. The argument I've seen lately from leftists is that their doubt of GMO's isn't as harmful as global warming denialism. I mean, ignore the millions and millions starving and suffering from malnutrition. Today.

    1. Leftists? Once again, you have no idea what you are speaking about. Republicans AND Demcrats view GMOs similarly. In fact Independents (that would include Libertarians) distrust that science even more. Vaccinations? Republicans can't accept the science. And of course climate change, well, let's not embarrass you.

      All according to the latest poll from Yougov.


      Try getting off that meme you live by.

      1. Bullshit. Polls are fun - now tell me why nearly every anti-GMO bill proposed by legislatures across the country comes from a Democrat? Beyond that, it's easy to find contradictory polling data:

        "There's also a political difference. Republicans divide evenly on whether genetically modified foods are safe or unsafe. Independents rate them unsafe by a 20-point margin; Democrats, by a 26-point margin."

        All of which ignores who starts these bullshit fearmongering stories. They get proliferated and pushed by left wing activist groups and go through our left leaning media to hit the public regardless of any real science behind them or not.


        1. Don't go away angry.

        2. There we go. Took one post to shut you up.

          1. By the way, the poll I quote was this year. Yours? Three years ago. Try staying current.


            Now don't get angry.

          2. Which changes nothing about the reality. How about you address the argument in full, shitbag?

            1. Have a great evening!

              1. Shitbag, get fucked with rusty implements this evening!

          3. The most publicized anti-GMO bill, California's Proposition 37, was officially supported by the California Democratic Party and officially opposed by the California Republican Party. If you look at the sponsors of the various anti-GMO bills making their way through state legislatures?I've looked up every one?the vast, vast majority of sponsors are Democrats, with just a few Republicans sprinkled in. Even at the national level, anti-GMO sentiment is dominated by Democrats...

            Another form of science denialism, or at least alarmism, is " chemophobia," an irrational fear of "toxic chemical" exposure in situations where there is no scientific evidence of danger. "Chemical safety" laws attempting to ban bisphenol A (BPA)?a synthetic compound used in canned-goods packaging and in hard plastics such as water bottles, whose removal is leading to the use of less tested alternatives?and formaldehyde lack any scientific basis. There is no evidence that either of these chemicals is harmful to human health in the amounts they are used in common household products. Yet 99 percent of Democrats voted in support of the state laws banning them, according to one advocacy organization.


  14. NAS. A "go to" science organization for all things scientific. It's a well received report. Well, not necessarily fro Republicans, since they distrust science.

    Of course, in their seminal report along with Royal Society, entitled "Clinate Change: Evidence and Causes," they said:

    "CLIMATE CHANGE IS ONE OF THE DEFINING ISSUES OF OUR TIME. It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing the Earth's climate. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, accompanied by sea-level rise, a strong decline in Arctic sea ice, and other climate-related changes."

    Republicans and Libertarians are invited to join the overwhelming scientific consensus, along with the consensus on GMOs.
    The evidence is clear.

    1. No one here supports GMO's because of 'consensus.' They are opposed to government intervention on principles that you lack. And we recognize that industrial agriculture has been nothing short of a miracle. Real people are starving to death across the world because of anti-GMO bullshit.

      1. Take it up with Ronald. He cited the consensus.

    2. The evidence is clear.

      *dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuunn*

    3. NAS. A "go to" science organization for all things scientific.

      You can go upthread to see a brief reaction to NAS's proclamations.

      Or you can read one from a number of years ago:

      Running with the triumvirate bias I noted above for NAS...

      (a) pro government interests, (b) pro US interests, and (c) pro science interests

      ...NAS has strong built in tendencies to come to the following conclusions on anthropogenic global warming:

      1. Global warming poses problems that require government solutions.

      2. Climate change mitigation provides opportunities for American science and technology products and services needed by the whole world.

      3. Government should subsidize new scientific and technological efforts into alternative sources and mitigations.

      It is not the politically popular stance that the NAS is likely to take. It is the stance that has the government throwing large efforts and monies at American scientists that the NAS is likely to take.

      And for AGW that stance is, "AGW is a problem that needs to be solved now."

    4. Republicans and Libertarians are invited to join the overwhelming scientific consensus

      And what, pray tell, is the content of that consensus? You always disappear when asked for specifics, yet reappear later just as smug and sanctimonious as ever.

      What does the "consensus" actually tell us, Jack?

      1. "You always disappear when asked for specifics, yet reappear later just as smug and sanctimonious as ever."

        Ask him about the fracking earthquakes! The monster storms! The horrible .002* temperature rise!
        Jack's full of shit on many issues!

  15. It's mind-boggling how the Left goes apeshit over "factory farming" and laments the loss of "the family farm". If someone really wants to eat food from an organic, non-GMO family farm, that's fine. You can find small, local producers of meat and produce in just about every area where the climate permits it... But it will be a bit of a drive and probably more expensive.

    And there's nothing wrong with wanting your food that way. In fact, I periodically take a drive to a bison ranch here in Ohio to load up on steaks and stew meat. It's fucking delicious. But I certainly wouldn't be so obtuse as to say that the government should shut down supermarkets and force everyone to buy their food from places like these.

    If they want to go back to the era of pre-industrial farming, fine. I just don't want to hear them complain when the 1 percent eat steak and the 99 percent eat mostly gruel (which is how it was for much of history). I guess it's just one more way in which the Left actually favors an arrangement that would make things harder for poor people.

    1. Bingo.Belted deep to center, fly, fly away.....

  16. They also conveniently ignore that some estimates of Rachel carson getting DDT banned is 20 million dead africans, though evertone knows progs luvs teh affrocans.

    How many tens of millions of poor people did Borlaug's Green Revolution feed. Fuckwits like jackass are lying sacks of steaming komodo shit.

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