There are several issues where what I have to say is too long for a typical Facebook post, but too short for a magazine essay. These rattle around in my head and so far I've rarely gotten around to writing them. Tonight I was asked about GMOs, which is one of the topics, and I wrote it out. I hope you give it time for consideration. If you we are also friends on Facebook, you may want to comment there as well as or instead of here.https://www.facebook.com/dvd.avins/posts/10203076330099531
I think the kind of GMO foods we generally have are harmful to the environment, but not directly to the individuals who eat them.
1) They allow the use of pesticides that are harmful as well as beneficial and the harmful affects of those pesticides have not been adequately studied.
2) They encourage a lack of diversity among crop strands, so that if a new disease attacks the current varieties, we will be especially vulnerable to catastrophic collapse of some crops.
3) They go along with the monopolization of seeds, which puts under more farmers and through them the rest of under more control by a few large corporations, especially Monsanto.
Those are all good reasons to oppose the Roundup-driven GMO foods we see.
Aside from that, even though the evidence of direct harm to individuals who consume the foods is totally bogus, there's some small chance that term are long-term bad effects of specific modifications that have not been discovered. That's not different from possible bad effects of new varieties that are developed by traditional means. Or of bad affects of food that was eaten for generations, like sarsaparilla, that we later learn is harmful.
But remember that not all GMO foods are of the Roundup-ready type. In all probability, we will also be able to develop crops that are beneficial, though the progress on things like rice with Vitamin A is slower than many scientists expected.
The righteous fight against the Monsanto-type crops has led to hyping of supposed dangers that aren't there, snowballing into anti-scientific hysteria by people who should know better. But that doesn't mean Monsanto should get a free pass to inflict all of the harm described above.
I would like to do away with all propriety knowledge of chemicals released into the environment, whether it be pesticides, the toxic soup they use for fracking, or anything else. And withholding scientific information about them while using them should be a felony for everyone who knowingly participates in doing so.
I don't know whether, were all the information publicly available, it would make sense to ban Roundup and whatever will follow in its place now that Roundup itself is losing efficacy as pests evolve. I see no reason to ban all GMOs, but just as with the pesticides most of them are designed to work with, information on them should be in the public domain before the organisms themselves are in the public environment.
Laws that have prevented companies from advertising that their milk is BGH-free are absurd and should be repealed ASAP. I don't think there are such laws in any state with regard to GMOs, but if there are, they are equally bad.
Mandatory labeling of products that do have GMOs are perhaps a useful stop-gap method so long we we cannot get legislation making the information about the pesticides public, but I don't think that's the real issue nor should it be the political focus. Open information is much more important.