GMO Safety: Physicians Take on the Biotech Industry


Ever since the rise of the Tea Party, the Republican Party has developed an allergy to science - especially any science related to climate or environmental protection. They have been called the "Anti-Science Party" and "Luddites," even by prominent members of their own party. Lately, they have even trumpeted that "they are not scientists," apparently in a tortured attempt to glorify their ignorance.

Rivaling their allergy to science is their disdain for federal agencies that use science to make rules they don't like, based on science - the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the US Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bureau of Land Management - and just about anything that represents "big government." So the rise of a Republican campaign that represents the exact opposite of their professed ideology is worth taking note of.

The "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act" (which should win an award for irony in naming) would bring the federal hammer down on states to prevent them from requiring labels identifying food that contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Chief sponsor of the bill Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) states on his website that the federal government's primary role is "to get the heck out of way [sic] and let the citizens of this great nation prosper with individual and economic freedoms." Just where is the "federal government getting out of the way" part of this legislation? Where is this bill's deference to individual freedom, like the freedom to know what you are putting in your mouth?

Pompeo suggests on his congressional education page, "No one knows what's best for your children better than you - as a parent - do." Except when it comes to GMOs - then suddenly Pompeo, the federal government and Monsanto all know better than parents and citizens.

GMO proponents in Congress never get tired of claiming that the scientific community is united in declaring GMOs safe. Since when did Republicans start caring about what scientists say? Now all of sudden they do? Even some Democrats like Sen. Claire McCaskill (Missouri) have mocked GMO opponents, belittling them for what she sees as a double standard in those that accept climate science, but not the safety of GMOs. Count me and a growing number of medical scientists as proud subscribers to that "double standard." Pay attention, Senator McCaskill.

Read more at Truth Out.

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