Learning from Others’ Mistakes

witchesGreat Britain is learning a painful lesson with GMOs. The government’s Science and Technology Committee is urging Great Britain to take back control over its agricultural practices and allow GMO crops. In a report released by the committee, MPs admonished contrary views as based on “values and politics” not science.

The Safety of GMOs

And they are absolutely correct. The overwhelming evidence supports the safety and efficacy of GMO products. When you have the WHO, AASA, Royal Academy, and the AMA on your side, you have a strong case. The situation in Great Britain deserves notice here in the United States.

They now realize that GMOs are necessary to increase crop yields. In the United States, we are in danger of putting millions of people at risk of starvation because of a growing loud but naive voice concerning the safety of GMO foods. The repercussions are greater for the United States because of our massive exports. Millions may suffer for the sake of a misguided ideology that is not based on fact nor science.

Science versus Public Opinion

GMOs stands as a testament to another issue where the general public thinks they know more than the scientists who study, research, and know the stuff. The disconnect is evident from the results of the Pew Research Center survey.

Of the scientists polled, 88 percent considered GMOs generally safe versus 37 percent of the general public. The ignorance is astounding given the stakes. It would one thing if there was a degree of uncertainty, but none exists. Rigorous testing and numerous studies have corroborated the inconvenient truth that most scientists know: GMOs are not the bogeyman.

If Not Science, Then What?

If we cannot base decisions on facts, then what do we base them on? Feelings? Hunches? Premonitions? That didn’t work well in Salem in 1692; it shouldn’t work now. We should know better.

Call it a defense mechanism, but it is a common occurrence. When faced with uncomfortable facts, some individuals flee. If they don’t flee, they reach for untestable constructs or worse yet, mysticism to defend their beliefs. As if we believe that birds fly!

Great Britain is in a tough spot. Closing the door on these misguided values won’t be easy. Hopefully, the United States will not slip down that slippery slope into the abyss called ignorance.

Like it or not, we need companies like Monsanto. We need companies who research and develop products like GMOs that can help solve the greatest challenges to humankind. Without them, food insecurity will threaten our very existence.

http://exploring.weborglodge.com/By Chris DR

photo credit: Pez Witches via photopin (license)

Posted in Lessons Learned and tagged .