April 7 2014
No need to throw out your red sauce: Seems the fears of genetically engineered foods have (again!) been overstated.
A new research report shows that genetically modified tomatoes are no different from other, non-GM varieties.
According to Owen Hoekenga, a Cornell University adjunct assistant professor, who led the study:
When the scientists compared the biochemicals of the GM tomato and a wide assortment other non-GM tomatoes, including modern and heirloom varieties, they found no significant differences overall. Thus, although the GM tomato was distinct from its parent, its metabolic profile still fell within the "normal" range of biochemical diversity exhibited by the larger group of varieties.
Indeed, as Ronald Bailey explained in his Top Ten Lies about Biotech Crops, “every independent scientific body that has ever evaluated the safety of biotech crops has found them to be safe for humans to eat.”
As comforting as it always is to have common sense “proven” correct, however, it is also worth remembering that such proof is needed when there is a potent and often effective campaign to discredit biotechnology in food production. At the local level, that has meant fights like this one to ban GMO crops, as well as legislation – like this -- limiting GMOs.
So celebrate this win for progress and buy some extra GM-tomatoes for dinner tonight. You can savor the victory of science over ideology, and you can save some money since non-GM tomatoes, like heirloom varieties, are always more expensive.