We need a neutral study on GMOs
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RE: “Debate ensues over move to adopt GMOs” (The New Times, January 30).
It’s truly unfortunate that the alleged risks were put in this article.
The fact is this: There is no validated evidence that GM crops have greater adverse impact on health and the environment than any other technology used in plant breeding…
There is compelling evidence that GM crops can contribute to sustainable development goals with benefits to farmers, consumers, the environment and the economy… It is vital that sustainable agricultural production and food security harnesses the potential of biotechnology in all its facets.
There is no ‘validated evidence that GM crops have greater adverse impact on health and environment than any other ‘technology’ used in plant breeding’ you claim. Care to let us know what those comparable adverse impacts on health and the environment are from non-GMO food growing are?
I will trust the World Health Organization’s international Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) when it reports the probable carcinogenic nature of glyphosate (most popular chemical in GMO herbicides) before I even consider trusting the lobbyists of the agrochemical industry or the scientists who benefit from the largess of the biochemical industry and its backers.
Furthermore, contrary to claims from GMO proponents, many researchers have linked GMOs to such serious negative health outcomes as infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.
Before we risk our food futures and the health of our next generations, we should get the industry to cooperate fully in neutral studies (by scientists completely unaffiliated with and therefore truly independent of the industry) to ascertain confirm or infirm these scary preliminary findings.
The onus is on the industry and its backers to convince us that our fears on both food security and human health and environmental safety are unfounded. Given a history of corporate corruption and criminality, their assurances un-backed by positive proof of the benign effects of their chemically-drenched products should be taken with a very large pinch of salt.
The prudential principle and caveat emptor must apply fully before we jump into chemical agriculture.
Reversing their deadly effects on our food supply, our environment and the health of our people may be beyond our means once we are on the GMO carousel. Let’s look very carefully before we are tempted by interested parties to climb on to that carousel.
How do we even know that what we eat in restaurants in Kigali or anywhere in the world is not GM food? Africa just delayed to get GMO regulations because products are already here.
We just need the law to regulate it and learn the science behind it. We actually need GMO than anyone else because our farms are infested with pests, rains don’t come as it used to, soils are used up and the population is exploding.
I see the only quick fix to these problems is GM food. In Uganda (and I believe in Rwanda), we have hundreds of food scientists who have been doing commendable work to improve crops, even without the regulation.
So there’s nothing new. Plus several countries in Africa, including EAC (Uganda and Kenya), have passed these laws recently, so don’t get left behind.