U. of Washington Professor Emeritus Responds to MSNBC’s GMO Article

Did you catch MSNBC’s piece titled, “Why Congress is having a food fight over GMO labeling”? If you missed it, you didn’t miss much. It pretty much toes the big ag industry and biotech company line. However, a lively discussion has developed in the comments section, including this gem from Philip L Bereano, Professor Emeritus at University of Washington. The views of well-credentialed folks like Bereano are seemingly ignored by media outlets wholly subscribed to the narrative that GMOs are inarguably good and any opposing view comes from a place of emotionality and ignorance. Read on:

The author of this article appears ignorant that over 300 scientists have signed a statement, published in the peer-reviewed literature that there is “No scientific consensus on GMO safety” (see http://www.enveurope.com/content/pdf/s12302-014-0034-1.pdf)  I am a co-author of this piece (and am on the UN’s Roster of Experts for conducting risk assessment of GMOs, BTW).
As detailed in this article, most of the scientific groups which “support” GMOs (actually, many of their positions are highly conditioned) have conducted no risk research whatever. Indeed, the “research” conducted by the industry is usually very truncated (eg, experiments terminated before negative impacts are likely to show), are proprietary secrets unavailable for examination, and are not replicated by the FDA (which merely acknowledges that the industry has not found any problems!)
We have many labels about the process of production of the items we buy:  “made in the USA,” union-made,” country of origin, “kosher,” etc.  Since over 90% of consumers routinely surveyed (over several decades) state that they want GE foods to be labelled, why is the House of Representatives trying to deny us this info?  Other than being beholden to the ag industry (like the chair of the House Ag Committee who has received sizable donations from Monsanto)?


Philip L. Bereano
Prof Emeritus
University of Washington