Jul 26, 2020 · Background. Before 1995, no peer-reviewed studies had been published investigating the safety of genetically modified food using human or animal feeding trials. In 1995 the Scottish Agriculture Environment and Fisheries Department commissioned a £1.6 million three-year research study to assess the safety of genetically engineered Desiree Red potatoes.
Genetically modified crops (GM crops) are genetically modified plants that are used in agriculture.The first crops developed were used for animal or human food and provide resistance to certain pests, diseases, environmental conditions, spoilage or chemical treatments (e.g. resistance to a herbicide).
- Misrepresentations on Conflict of Interest?
- The Organic Center
- Benbrook Consultant Services/Agbiotech-Info.Net
- National Research Council
- U.S. House Agriculture Committee
Benbrook emerged as a spokesperson for organic farming during his tenure as a research director of The Organic Center from 2016-2012. The Center, which is funded by the organic industry, is part of the Organic Trade Association, and has been very critical of crop biotechnology. From 2012-2015, he affiliated with the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR) at Washington State University (WSU). He held an adjunct faculty position in the Crop and Soil Sciences Department, funded entirely by the organic industry. It ended on May 15, 2015, when his contract was not extended amidst charges that he was misrepresenting and downplaying his organic industry links (see below). After he was severed from WSU, Benbrook continued to represent himself as a “research professor at Washington State.” Reporter Carey Gillam (then with Reuters and more recently an editor with the anti-GMO organic funded advocacy group US Right to Know), referred to him as a “research professor” wh...
Benbrook’s best-known and most controversial study, published in 2012 in a predatory pay-for-play journal, concluded that genetically modified foods had “backfired,” because weeds had begun developing resistance to glyphosate, resulting in massive increases in herbicide use. He claimed that organic crops have equivalent or better yields than conventional and GMO counterparts and that organic foods are safer and more nutritious. The study was widely criticized in the mainstream science community because he used subjective estimates of herbicide usage by relying on data he interpreted from the US National Agricultural Statistics Service, which didn’t differentiate between GM and non-GM crops, did not take into account the fact that glyphosate is less toxic than the herbicides it has replaced, thus the net toxicity of herbicide use had decreased even as the total herbicide use increased. Graham Brookes of PG Economics published a peer reviewed reportearlier that year that reached a far...
Both Benbrook and Landrigan may have misrepresented themselves as to potential conflicts of interest in their New England Journal of Medicinearticle. Benbrook represented he was affiliated with Washington State University when he submitted his current article. But an official at WSU said he was no longer with the university as of May 2015, before his NEJM article was finalized. Other misrepresentations may have come in response to NEJM questions about potential conflicts of interest: Did you or your institution at any time receive payment or services from a third party (government, commercial, private foundation, etc.) for any aspect of the submitted work (including but not limited to grants, data monitoring board, study design, manuscript preparation, statistical analysis, etc.)? Answer NO 100 percent of Benbrook’s funding at his institution was from organic industry commercial interests, which benefit from disparaging the safety of GMOs and pesticides. Place a check in the appropr...
Benbrook had joined CSANR as a “research professor” (see reference for description) in August, 2012. He served as the leader of the program called Measure to Manage (M2M): Farm and Food Diagnostics for Sustainability and Health (M2M). The stated goal of M2M was to develop, refine, validate, and apply analytical systems quantifying the impacts of farming systems, technology, and policy on food nutritional quality, food safety, agricultural productivity, economic performance along food value chains, and on natural resources and the environment. The M2M program was funded entirely by the organic industry with no funding support from any independent or university sources. According to the CSANR website, but since removed [but available here]: His affiliations and publications all have a decidedly anti-biotechnology, pro-organic slant. In a 2009 interview with the Economist, Benbrook asked a series of questions he claims should be used to determine whether or not biotechnology enhanced c...
Benbrook has a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He held an adjunct faculty position in the Crop and Soil Sciences Department, Washington State University until May 2015. His affiliations and publications all have a decidedly anti-biotechnology, pro-organic slant. 1. BA, Economics, Harvard (1971) 2. MA, Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin (1979) 3. PhD, Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin (1980)
Benbrook served as “chief scientist” for TOC from 2006-2012. TOC was an independent NGO laregly funded by the organic industry until 2011 when it formally merged with the Organic Trade Association. Benbrook led research to support organic agriculture via denigrating conventional agriculture, specifically developing research and public relations campaigns attacking the efficacy and safety of modern crop protection (pesticides) and plant biotechnology (GMOs).
From 1990 to present, Benbrook has served as a scientific and technical consultant to the organic food industry and organic-supporting advocacy groups. In this capacity he has also served as an expert witness for litigators (including The Center for Food Safety in pesticide and biotechnology-related cases suing the federal government and ag biotech companies. He also owned and ran the website and listserv Biotech Info Net (no longer active). Benbrook’s clients include national consumer and environmental groups, international organizations, companies, federal and state government agencies, trade associations, and academic research organizations. Most recently, Benbrook was a consultant to Whole Foods, which in a controversial decision launched a “Responsibly Grown” ratings system. It allowed the grocer to pick and choose within a list of agrichemicals it considered harmful and less harmful. Some organic products were rated as harmful under this system and some non-organic produce tre...
From 1984 to 1990 Benbrook served as executive director for the Board of Agriculture. Benbrook claims he left this position because of his role directing and opposing the findings of a study on children and pesticides. However, according to a 1993 letter from National Academy of Sciences president Frank Press to documentary filmmaker Bill Moyers, Benbrook was asked to resign from this position following repeated violations of NAS guidelines regarding non-biased, non-partisan and professional science staff statements, well before the child pesticide study was completed. Press wrote: 1. 1.1. The editing of the documentary will lead viewers to the erroneous conclusion that the employment of Charles Benbrook at the NAS-NRC was terminated as a result of his role as the director of the study on children and pesticides. This simply was not the case. The facts are that Mr. Benbrook was warned both orally and in writing on multiple occasions, long before the Landrigan committee began writing...
From 1981 t0 1984 Benbrook served as a sub-committee staff person to U.S. House of Representatives George E. Brown and Congressman Jim Weaver of Oregon.
Benbrook actively advocates that GMOs can cause known allergies or post other safety challenges and pesticides are unsafe, unjust and unsustainable. He claims organic farming is a safer, healthier and superior system. Benbrook has participated in numerous organic industry advocacy initiatives, conferences and petition campaigns opposing GMOs with groups including the Center for Food Safety, Friends of the Earth and the Pesticide Action Network. Benbrook is a member of Bioneers and affiliated via his consulting with Consumers Union; other advocacy-consulting engagements include: 1. Western Organization of Resource Councils, co-author and research source for anti-biotechnology publications 2. Greenpeace– research consultant/source, event speaker for biotechnology related publications and events 3. Center for Food Safety/Andrew Kimbrell – research consultant/ source for biotechnology related litigation and publications 4. International Center for Technology Assessment/ Mark Ritchie – r...
- GMF Traits
- GMO Impact on Environment
- GMFS and Politics
- Deliberate Misinformation
- Positions on GMO
- External Links
With one exception, all GMFs on the market are plants. (The one exception is the AquAdvantage salmon, a fish modified to grow larger and faster than its non-GMF counterparts. Although this salmon has been approved by the USA's Food and Drug Administration, as of 2018 it has only been sold in Canada. Since DNA recombination is a very powerful technique which allows for almost arbitrary modifications to be introduced into the genome, GMF can have a variety of traits which are extremely unlikely to occur in nature (but not impossible) and can not be obtained using conventional methods of breeding. It is a way to short-circuit the millions of years of evolution and/or artificial selectionwhich would be required for the desirable traits to arise spontaneously. This includes resistance to pests, viruses and herbicides, drought tolerance and improved nutritional value. The majority of GMFs have one or more of the following traits:
Environmental concerns over GMO also exist. The scientific consensus over GMF crops and the environment is not as clear-cut as the consensus on GMF and health.
Even if GMFs are relatively safe to humans and the environment, it's possible that their use might harm someone legally or financially; such risks exist but are routinely overblown.
Misinformation on the subject is harmful. People who would otherwise be fed are starved, being deprived of food being destroyed just because it is GMF.Destroying otherwise edible food when there are starving people is morally questionable, at best.
1. Aaron E. Carroll — Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Dean for Research Mentoring at Indiana University School of Medicine, and the director of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research. And more. A damn good doctor, in other words. Dedicates an episode of Healthcare Triageto debunking GMO fears. 2. Ben Goldacre— Doctor, skeptic and science writer. 3. Bill Nye — Credits good sciencewith proving to him that a pro-GMO stance is the rational option. 4. Brian Dunning — Skept...
1. Massimo Pigliucci— Philosopher, author and skeptic. 2. World Health Organisation - Specialized agency of the United Nationsthat is concerned with international public health. 3. Oxfam - Believes a 'simple technological fix' is unlikely to solve world hunger. A farmer's lack of access to food or power over food production are seen as more pressing concerns for food security.
1. Alex Jones — Not at all known for predictably siding with the "wrong" camp on any issue. Sells various popular anti-GMO DVD's, all of them of the pseudoscientific, historical revisionist and conspiratorialflavour. 2. American Academy of Environmental Medicine - Overtly pro-pseudosciencegroup of physicians. 3. The Center for Food Safety, which isn't at all interested in actual food safety. 4. David Icke — Confirming the reptiliandeception fueling the pro-GMO agenda. 5. Deepak Chopra — Quant...
Jul 24, 2020 · As COVID-19 continues to lay bare the deficiencies in the global food system, imagining new food futures is more urgent than ever. Recently, some have suggested that seeds that are genetically modified to include pest, drought, and herbicide resistance (GMOs) provide an avenue for African countries to become more self-sufficient in food production and less reliant on global food chains.
Aug 13, 2020 · From 1 st July 2020, a new Company, Caledonia Potatoes Ltd, has been created by former Caithness contributors Alistair Melrose, Mike McDiarmid and Robert Doig. They say Caledonia Potatoes will be ably supported by its Perth, Scotland office team of Andrew Lamont (Sales), Dr Finlay Dale (Science and support) and Sian Mochan (Accounts and more).
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Jul 28, 2020 · The British government, regulators and global agrochemical corporations are colluding with each other and are thus engaging in criminal behaviour. That’s the message put forward in a new report written by environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason and sent to the UK Environment Agency.
Jul 28, 2020 · Basic organic food is not that much more expensive eg potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms, flour, pasta, rice, so if you stick to them or find a veg box scheme, that is the most economical way to eat, as you need less food as the quality is there, its not pumped full of water or pesticides and it makes eating more pleasurable (if you have a ...
Aug 07, 2020 · It is 1 p.m. on a hot, sunny, Friday. Across from the Sigona Golf Club on the Nairobi-Nakuru dual highway that is being reconstructed by the Chinese construction company China Wu Yi, Phyllis Ikoa’s food kiosk is teeming with men in helmets and overalls munching their hot, fresh lunch with their rough seasoned hands.