A Small GMO Victory

I wanted to share a small victory. A relative had proclaimed herself an anti-GMO person to my consternation. She started sending me links, all of which I refuted. Then she told me she’d watched these 2 movies: Genetic Roulette and Genetic Chili, which, so help me, I watched on a Sunday afternoon.

After I watched Genetic Roulette, I sent her to this page which refutes point by point the assertions from the first film (actually from the self-published book that the film was based on).

Then, I watched the second one, Genetic Chili and saw it was directed by the same guy. So, I looked him up on Wikipedia. From his entry:

A variety of American organic food companies see Smith “as a champion for their interests”,[1] and Smith’s supporters describe him as “arguably the world’s foremost expert on the topic of genetically modified foods”.[20] In contrast, Michael Specter, writing in The New Yorker, reported that Smith was presented as a “scientist” on The Dr. Oz Show despite his lack of any scientific experience or relevant qualifications.[3] Bruce Chassy, a molecular biologist and food scientist, wrote to the show arguing that Smith’s “only professional experience prior to taking up his crusade against biotechnology is as a ballroom-dance teacher, yogic flying instructor, and political candidate for the Maharishi cult’s natural-law party.”[3].

I also noted that much of the assertions in the second movie were based on the findings of debunked studies by French microbiologist Gilles-Eric Séralini

After that, she wrote these magic words: “You are starting to persuade me. The de-bunking of Genetic Roulette is pretty thorough.”

Yes! OK, it’s not definitive. It’s just a start. But hey, any movement toward the light I will take. The rest, now that she has the skeptical spark, is up to her.

2 comments for “A Small GMO Victory

  1. Jake
    11/7/2013 at 3:01 am

    Genetically-modified food is a blight on this planet, Bob.

    The website you provided is owned by two members of the biotech industry themselves whom have a financial stake in it’s existence. It is therefore no wonder they provide flawed industry-funded studies to refute a clear threat to their business model. There are tenfold the amount of independent studies with no conflicts of interest that show some serious concerns regarding GMO’s.

    Posting studies done by the biotech industry claiming their products are safe(Agent Orange?), and taking their word for it, is unwise at best. If you want to be a skeptic, that’s great, but at least start looking for non-bias material.

    -Jake

  2. Bob
    11/7/2013 at 7:42 am

    First, thanks for reading and commenting!

    Second, if you wish to make claims, please provide some references that support your claims. That’s the only way we could have a reasonable discussion. By references I mean actual independent, peer reviewed studies (not, Mercola, Seralini, Natural News, etc.).

    Third, my main point is that typical of most people who espouse annti-GMO opinions do so based on false data rooted in fears of science and corporations and promoted by people with little understanding and lots to gain, like Jeffery Smith. You didn’t really address that point, you just trotted out the old Argumentum ad Monsantium: http://www.skepticblog.org/2012/11/08/argumentum-ad-monsantium/

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