Why We Shouldn’t Just ‘Know to Love GMOs’ as NY Times Journalist Suggests • Defending Children’s Health

In her promotion of genetically modified foods published this week in The New York Times Magazine, reporter Jennifer Kahn failed to report on mountains of evidence showing that GMO crops fail to comply with the requirements. promise he quotes in his story.

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Next week in Rome, world leaders will meet to discuss how to improve the food system amid one of the worst hunger crises in recent times. According to a new United Nations report of hunger, more than 2.37 billion people do there is not enough passage in food by 2020.

the COVID-19 the pandemic exposed weaknesses in food systems that failed to meet the needs of many people.

Instead of tackling systematic solutions for hunger and poverty, however, leaders at the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit ignored human rights and pushed to expand genetic engineering and commodity crop monocultures that deepen crises and also not fed the world, according to hundred groups boycotting events next week and organizing a counter summit.

All of this context is missing from a 7,000-plus word promotional article with genetically engineered foods published this week in the New York Times Magazine. Jennifer Kahn reports that, “excessive fear has scared the public against genetically modified food” even though the “potential benefits aren’t really that great.”

He concludes: We all just need to learn to love GMOs.

Kahn leads the “narrative program” at the Grgraduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. His account of GMOs will soon address the industry’s point of view: whether or not consumers and government are “afraid to soften” by insisting on transparency and safety checks, they say technology can be achieved. of GMO its “potential”.

But Kahn has forgotten decades of evidence showing that GMO crops fail to deliver on the varieties of the promises he started his story. We describe some of the examples here below.

Kahn also misses concerns about corporate growth control of seeds, privatization of seed stock, and concentration of corporate power at the center of the GMO debate. U.S. and European agricultural companies gives strength in the countries of the Global South to receive seed patents, despite severe opposition from the countries.

For narrative information on that topic, see Renee Alexander and Simran Sethi’s article on how Mexico plans removal of glyphosate and GMO corn Imports “could reverse years of damage to U.S. trade policy.” See also Daniel Maingi’s report on how patented biotechnologies are protected shaping Kenya’s food ecosystem. Corporations “effectively control what food ecosystems emerge once a country decides to rely on seed of biotech-gene, ”Report by Maingi.

Safety checks

Kahn also misses the evidence from the scientific literature about non -target effects of CRISPR “gene editing” techniques. Plans to introduce the engineered CRISPR “hornless cow” in Brazil were scrapped after a Discovered by US government researcher that cows have two gene-resistance genes that are not supposed to be there.

The company’s researchers missed the problem in their own study. The event demonstrates the importance of independent safety monitoring, and provides another example of overhyped promises. Cattle are the “poster animals of the gene editing revolution,” MIT Technology Review reported, until a “major turn-up of their DNA” occurred.

Genetic engineering, including genome editing, “has unpredictable consequences,” says Michael Antoniou, a molecular geneticist at King’s College London. “You have to do a long-term animal feeding test and see what happens… and that doesn’t happen anywhere in the world for control purposes, everyone.”

A more honest conversation

Kahn, a professor of journalism, also relied on a source. He later quoted Mark Lynas, a writer of numerous inaccurate claims about GMOs and pesticides, supported by scientists and food policy experts who wrote detailed criticisms of his work. We have Lynas’s criticisms are gathered here.

He was a companion Cornell Alliance for Science, a public relations campaign funded by Gates Foundation to convince other countries, especially Africa, to accept GMO seeds and foods. In a recent Scientific American article, Leaders of the African food movement asked Bill Gates to “stop telling Africans what kind of agriculture Africans need.”

The public deserves a more honest conversation about GMOs – one that digs deeper than the industry cycle and examines critical issues of corporate power, neocolonialism and food sovereignty.

“The complex nature of GMOs calls for a new dialogue,” UC Berkeley scholar Maywa Montenegro wrote in 2015. “An honest discussion of genetically modified organisms must move beyond the narrow concepts of human health to the broader social and environmental impact of engineered crops.

Demand is more important now than ever before. However, corporations, investors and donors provide techno-food and industrial farming dominates food policy negotiations. As in Montenegro and his colleagues wrote last month, powerful artists chaired the UN Food Systems Summit “not only to improve the technological approach to food systems, but also to divide food security management around the world and create institutions that are more afraid of agribusiness demands. “

GMOs: A long history of failed promises

For 30 years, agricultural companies have pretended genetic engineering as the solution to hunger, but it hasn’t worked that way. Again and again, technology fails to deliver on promises. Here are some examples:

  • Genetically engineered “golden rice,” hailed as the answer to Vitamin A deficiency for 25 years, is “nowhere near production” and “can be stored,” reports Crispin Maslog on SciDevNet in May Questions about environmental safety and nutrition continue.
  • Quenching the thirst of genetically engineered maize has failed to deliver after a decade of testing in Africa. Although Bayer and the Gates Foundation continues push the project as a solution to hunger, reports the African Center for Biodiversity.
  • The Bt cotton engine is genetically engineered by Monsanto failed to deliver the same quality of cotton as traditional varieties in Burkina Faso. Despite the failure, the project has for many years been hailed as a success across Africa. Researchers know that a “success story” is constructed incorrect data generated by Monsanto.
  • A analysis of 20 years of data in Bt cotton in India GMO cotton was found not to increase yield. Even when the demand for pesticides was first released, insects became resistant and “farmers now spend more on pesticides today than when Bt was first introduced.”
  • A 2020 Study of African Rights found that nearly 30 years of strategic and well-funded efforts to bring GMOs to Africa have yielded very little.
  • An extensive review by the New York Times is based on 20 years of data that found that “genetic modification in the U.S. and Canada has not accelerated crop yield increases or led to an overall decline. to use chemical pesticides, ” Reported by Danny Hakim in 2016.
  • We will also report on how dicamba drift from GMO fields damaged crops in 25 U.S. states; not resistant to insects and non -lethal GMO poison failed to work as pests changed their environment; and Bayer is now leading the new GMO crops resistant to five herbicides.

Originally published on US Right to Know.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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