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Genetic Engineering: Myths & Truths

December 8, 2020 9:15 PM
By Peter Chandler

Myth: Genetic engineering is just an extension of natural breeding and no more risky.
Truth: Genetic engineering is radically different from natural breeding and poses special risks.

Myth: GM foods are strictly tested and regulated for safety.
Truth: Regulation relies on GM food safety tests conducted by developer companies and regulatory processes are weak.

Myth: Independent studies confirm that GM foods and crops are safe.
Truth: Independent research on GM foods is difficult or impossible to carry out, but many existing studies have found problems.

Myth: GM foods are safe to eat.
Truth: GM crops have toxic and allergenic effects on laboratory and farm animals.

Myth: Many long-term studies show GM is safe.
Truth: Few long-term studies have been carried out, but some show toxic effects from GM food.

Myth: The Nicolia review compiles 1,700+ studies showing that GMOs are safe.

Truth: Many of the papers fail to document GMO safety: some show certain GMOs are harmful; and important papers relevant to GMO safety are omitted or ignored.

Myth: The Van Eenennaam review considered data from 100 billion animals and found GMOs are safe.
Truth: The review provides no data proving GMO safety.

Myth: GM crops increase yield potential.
Truth: GM crops do not increase yield potential.

Myth: GM crops decrease pesticide use.
Truth: GM crops increase pesticide use.

Myth: The pesticides associated with GM crops are safe.
Truth: The pesticides associated with GM crops may pose risks to health and the environment.

Myth: GM herbicide-tolerant crops are environmentally friendly.
Truth: GM herbicide-tolerant crops are an extension of chemical- intensive agriculture and pose threats to the environment.

Myth: GM crops can "co-exist" with non-GM and organic crops.
Truth: Coexistence means widespread contamination of non-GM and organic crops.

Myth: GM crops are needed to feed the world.

Truth: GM crops are irrelevant to food security.

Anecdote: Someone put out samples of organic corn and GM corn in their garden to see if squirrels would show a preference. They immediately ate all the organic corn but did not want to eat the GM corn. Do squirrels know something that we don't?

More information is available at GMWatch