Is Supporting GMO’s A Conservative Position Now?

Did I miss another memo?

Recently Mark Lynas, a greenie produced a mea culpa for having demonized GMO crops for the last umpty years. He writes

I apologise for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.

As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely.

But the question is: are these crops safe?

In his book Wheatbelly Dr. William Davis argues, and I would say successfully, that while the new Frankenwheat does produce a greater volume of wheat it is unknown what the effect is on human beings. While anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that it is harmful.

A point that Dr. Davis makes that I find almost beyond belief is that when the wheat was changed there were no studies done to see what the effects on the human body might be. Which, in my humble opinion boggles the mind. Dr. Davis referred to this as the largest experiment ever conducted on humans without thier knowledge or approval.

And of course we made massive changes to corn in much the same way. This corn is hardly the only cause, but it is believed to be one of the causes of the Pima Indians shocking levels of metabolic syndrome.

And the big argument in favor of these crops is they keep people from starving and while that is a very laudable outcome it begs the question: did we save them only to subject them to horrifying illnesses like cancer?

Let’s go back to the actual question: are these crops safe? I think the answer is probably a big fat no. But since all politics has become positional, i.e. since smelly hippies and leftists are against GMO crops Conservatives and Libertarians must be for them? Really? Is that right?

Don’t get me wrong, I worked in kitchens all my life and Hippy punching was a competitive sport in most of them. But how does that make GMO crops a good thing? And as a culinary professional I can tell you that I’m not sure we can feed 300 million people without them, which leads us right back to the question of: starvation or poison?

I tend to think Dr. Davis (ironically enough) focuses too much on the dangers of GMO wheat in his book while giving short shrift to the problem of carbs in general. That being said he’s not wrong that something changed along the way. Folks used to eat wheat, sugar (but a lot less), and carbs in general and metabolic syndrome wasn’t a problem. By way of example here’s a photo of a Christmas Party in 1925. Does anyone believe these folks are eating a low carb diet? Starving themselves? Not eating bread?

I don’t know what the answer might be but I know this, it most likely will not be found in knee jerk answers.

What say you?

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