Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Unique Risks of GM Crops: Science Trumps PR, Fraud and Smear Campaigns

The purpose of this piece is to draw readers’ attention to an important chapter from a document by Aruna Rodrigues that discusses the unique risks associated with GM crops. Contrary to what supporters of GM often claim, it shows that criticisms of this technology are based on credible concerns, sound logic and solid science.

However, some background information and context might first be useful to indicate that, while critics rely on science, the pro-GMO lobby is mired in duplicity and engages in the debasement of science.

Introduction

The public continues to be fed the message that GMOs are safe and there is a consensus within the ‘scientific community’ over this. We are also informed that there is no difference between crops that have been traditionally bred and GM crops.

To promote GM, however, the pro-GMO lobby relies on fraudregulatory delinquencynon-transparent and undemocratic practicessmear campaigns against critics, dirty tricks and repeating the message that, for instance, a trillion meals containing GMOs have been eaten and no one has died or become ill as a result and that ‘the debate is over’. Aside from well-funded slick PR, it also relies on secretive studies, reports riddled with conflicts of interest and makes baseless claims wrapped up as scientific facts.

It is to the industry’s advantage and those of its co-opted officials, scientists and journalists to promote GM and to deflect attention away from their own interests in batting for this technology. While attempting to denigrate critics of GMOs as somehow being tainted, independence and objectivity appear to be alien concepts to these figures.

“Their PR machine is deployed to unscientifically attack scientists working on biosafety, such as Árpád Pusztai, Ignacio Chapela, Irina Ermakova, Éric Séralini and myself. Many journalists, having no scientific background themselves, have become soldiers in this PR assault. Privileged white men like Mark Lynas, Jon Entine and Michael Specter, with no practical experience in agriculture, armed only with BA degrees and ties to corporate-controlled media, are being used to undermine real scientific findings about the impact of GMOs on our health and ecosystems.” – Vandana Shiva, ‘Fine Print of the Food Wars

Aruna Rodrigues and the unique risks of GM crops

The purpose here, however, is not to go over old ground by describing the glaring hypocrisy, misrepresentations and double standards that the pro-GMO lobby engages in. This has been highlighted time and again and can be read about by clicking on some of the links provided above.

The aim is draw readers’ attention to the document mentioned at the start. Written by Aruna Rodrigues, it sets out a scientific argument for rejecting GM and shows how the pro-GMO case is too often based on deceit and myths. Such concepts should have no place in scientific discourse yet have become commonplace.

Through a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India, Aruna Rodrigues has challenged the Government of India’s promotion of GM. She believes that a completely independent regulatory body should be set up to conduct safety tests for possible risks to humans and the environment. The evidence she provides shows that such independence is currently lacking and the push for GMOs in India is based on secrecy, regulatory delinquency and, ultimately, fraud (as is the case elsewhere too).

She is not the only one to have noted industry influence on decision-making processes surrounding GMOs in India.

“The government is facilitating profiteering by MNCs without addressing the concerns about bio-safety, monopoly control over seeds and having a fool-proof regulatory mechanism in place.” People’s Democracy, Communist Party of India (M)

Rodrigues discusses how GMOs came into being in the US, describes how regulations and protocols have been bypassed or breached, outlines the science behind GM and dismisses the claims that GM is essential for feeding the world. In presenting her carefully thought out arguments, she refers to dozens of official reports, statements and independent peer-reviewed research.

Read what Aruna Rodrigues has to say by clicking on the following link:

The Precautionary Principle (PP) Requires to be Interpreted Critically and Pre-emptively for its Proper Application to the Unique Risks of GM crops” by Aruna Rodrigues

(Download courtesy of Food Sovereignty Ghana)

More articles by:

Colin Todhunter is an extensively published independent writer and former social policy researcher based in the UK and India.

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Cesar Chelala
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
October 18, 2018
Erik Molvar
The Ten Big Lies of Traditional Western Politics
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail