Greens vs. Science: The 2012 Award for Most Thoughtless, Anti-Science Comment

October 3, 2012

There are still three months left in the year, but the chances of anyone saying something more anti-science than today’s nominee is pretty small. And that includes those who cite the Mayan calendar as evidence the world is coming to an end this Dec. 21.

The 2012 Award for Most Thoughtless, Anti-Science Comment goes to Trudy Bialic of Seattle-based PCC Markets. Congratulations!

Commenting on PCC’s effort to require labeling of foods that include genetically modified organisms (GMOs), she pronounced her thoughts on those who opposed labeling:

"Don't make any mistake, this is chemical companies" opposing labeling, said Trudy Bialic, director of public affairs at PCC. "It's the same people who brought us Agent Orange, DDT and PCBs, and they're saying now, 'Trust us with your food.'”

They also happen to be the “same people” who brought us chemotherapy that has cured cancer in millions. They also happen to be the “same people” who created golden rice, a GMO that could prevent blindness in millions of malnourished children around the world – but is being blocked by environmental groups. They are the “same people” who helped create the “Green Revolution” that reduced worldwide starvation, saving hundreds of millions of lives in the poorest countries in the world. I could go on.

Other than that, Trudy’s right.

Well, actually, she’s still not right.

There are others besides these “same people” who brought us all those other things who have examined GMOs and found them to be safe:

  • US National Academy of Sciences
  • UN World Health Organization
  • US Department of Agriculture
  • US Food and Drug Administration
  • US Environmental Protection Agency
  • American Medical Association
  • UN Food and Agriculture Organization
  • Europe’s Chief Science Advisor

If, however, PCC wants to require labeling, they should require labeling of all impacts. GMOs use fewer pesticides and less fertilizer. Perhaps PCC can list the amount of additional chemicals needed to grow non-GMO or “organic” foods. For example, researchers at UC-Davis found that organic wine grapes required about 80 times as much fertilizer as conventionally grown grapes.

The truth is that the push for labeling is designed to play on fears and lack of science knowledge. They don’t want labeling, they want selective labeling. They set aside science in favor of insinuation and fear, demonizing scientific innovation – innovation that could save millions of lives – for the sake of self-righteous ideological advocacy.

So, to Trudy Bialic and PCC Markets, the 2012 Award for Most Thoughtless, Anti-Science Comment goes to you. It is a well-earned award.

Comments

It is not for the sake of

It is not for the sake of self-righteous ideological advocacy, the organic 'movement' is a marketing campaign that uses common fears and misconceptions to encourage people to buy their overpriced food, while their certification program prevents other producers from competing with them. Forcing all other food to include 'scary' labels will scare more people into buying 'Organic' food. In then end it's all about money, not health, sustainability or environmental protection.

Allowing these people to influence food labeling is as inappropriate as allowing 'fouth meal' marketers to influence dietary guidelines.

"Agent Orange, DDT and

"Agent Orange, DDT and PCBs,"

The point is that these chemicals were tested and claimed to be safe in humans... So .... please ... explain.

Ban Everything

Are you saying that we should never trust science? If something is judged to be safe, we should waive it off, saying "well, X was judged to be safe too, so..." That would subjugate science to fear.

Second, Agent Orange is a weapon. Saying it was "claimed to be safe in humans" is not accurate.

Third, environmentalists love to scream "DDT" whenever they don't like something, but they never provide evidence of its harm. In fact, the World Health Organization has determined that DDT is safe to use and saves lives. They wrote: “We must take a position based on the science and the data,” said Dr Arata Kochi, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme. “One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying. Of the dozen insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT.”

We should never stop learning and if new science emerges indicating GMOs are harmful, then we can assess it. At this point, however, arguments against GMOs boil down to ignoring science out of a fear that something might happen in the future. Such a position would have stopped all medical innovation, all improvements in food production, cell phones and many other innovations that have saved lives and made us more prosperous.