I am writing to counter the view that genetically modified organisms are safe.
Safety has to be proven with long-term studies. GMOs have not been around long enough to evaluate the long-term effects on humans. That is why GMOs are mostly considered unsafe in Europe because the Treaty on European Union (1993) made precaution a guiding principle of EU environmental policy, and additionally, there is overwhelming public support for the labeling of foods which have been genetically modified.
Here in the United States, the opposite is true. GMOs are assumed safe because short-term studies support that assumption. Our legal system says products have to be proven unsafe before they are pulled off the market. DDT is a good example of the danger of short-term studies. Mainstream science considered DDT to be safe until it was proven to be unsafe.
Liberal-minded people are actually conservative when it comes to food safety. We say that long-term studies of GMOs need to be done before they can be considered safe. Assuming that GMOs are safe is an experiment with the American people’s long-term health.
GMO plants are not “substantially equivalent” to the non-GMO plants.That is why GMOs are considered intellectual property, whereas natural plants are not.
Arguing that the anti-GMO movement is funded by the billion-dollar natural-foods industry is bogus simply because it is also true that the pro-GMO movement is heavily funded by the conventional food industry. Raising fear about the cost of labeling causing chaos, the conventional food industry is using the same “fear-mongering” strategy that the organic food industry is accused of.
I am a plain, independent citizen who is only concerned about the safety of my long-term health as it relates to GMOs. We need long-term studies for GMOs because of the intrinsic limitations of scientific knowledge before we unleash them on people and the environment.
— Rebecca Casey