- "The standard objection is that GM foods might be harmful to us. There is no evidence to support this"
It's funny, I remember exactly the same claim about the transmission of BSE from cattle to humans "there is no scientific evidence for it". The trouble is that the absence of evidence, isn't evidence of absence. Plus there's the not so inconsequential fact that 99.9% recurring, of all possible GMOs have not yet been created, let alone tested.
However, this is getting off the problem with these arguments. The proponents of GM that use the safety argument, and who claim there is no scientific evidence for any hazard, are in fact engaging in an utterly dishonest straw man argument. That's because the arguments of those with concern about GM are far more complex, and varied, than the crude straw man representation of anti-GM arguments, that the proponents of GM use.
In actual fact a very common argument against GM use, is that in fact GM is simply a means for agro-chemical giants to create monopolies for big profits. Given their propensity for trying to patent genetic sequences and GMO, it simply confirms those fears.
I was myself fairly neutral on this issue for a long time. My position has always been that it was dishonest to try and railroad through the whole GM agenda, and every GMO needs to be evaluated case by case. This is because aside from being genetically modified, GMOs have got nothing in common, so the fact that some appear to be safe, does not mean that all will be safe.
Given the dishonest arguments and bullying tactics of the proponents of GM, I feel it is best now just to oppose the whole GM agenda. My change in position has been entirely due to the dishonest arguments of the proponents of GM, and their bullying tactics.
I have repeatedly challenged proponents of GM on these comments sections, to explain the general scientific principle which allows all GMOs to be deemed safe. That's because if they are claiming that GM should be given the go ahead on scientific grounds, there must be a general scientific principle, which deals with all GMOs. Not one of them has been able to answer this simple challenge, and as a consequence I have faced an avalanche of personal abuse, and character assassination, for simply asking a reasonable question, which the proponents of GM cannot answer.
I can only assume that the proponents of GM have not thought through their case, and their only thinking on it is to dismiss the opponents of GM as "flaky", even if they have to use sophistry to try and substantiate this baseless claim.
Plus there is the not so little matter, that GM is a technology, and the use of any technology, is always subjected to more scrutiny, than the limited and partial scientific tests of it's safety. All technology is evaluated on a wide range of criteria, from the economic impacts onwards. Many of these criteria lie well outside the scientific method, and therefore cannot be evaluated by science. The is no scientific principle that says we must use a technology.
To me personally, this is nothing to do with science. All science can contribute to is limited information based on limited testing, for a small section of the full spectrum of potential hazards. This is how scientists evaluates everything, by limited advice, and policy decisions are based on my more than the scientific safety testing.
The scientists lobbying for GMOs are in fact a vested interest group. The biotechnology sector is very profitable, and if GM is given the general go ahead, it means big salaries, lots of jobs, and potential profits for those involved in the creation of GMOs.
Again personally, I think that those who aggressively argue that all GM should be given the go ahead are using quasi-religious thinking. They have blind faith in the magic of technology, which they mistakenly believe can solve any problem. This is a mistaken belief, because the technology itself does not have inherent properties, and it is the way it is used, which counts.
This comment was posted on 31st of Jan, 2015 by user SteB1 on the Guardian article "Why GM is the natural solution for future farming"