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Report Says GMOs Are Safe But Won't Solve World Hunger

A committee set up by the National Academy of Science poured over more than 900 research publications investigating the effects of genetic meddling in corn, soybean, and cotton. Their results were counterintuitive, to say the least.

While there is something inherently disturbing about messing with the genes of the food that goes into our bodies, GMOs may not be as bad for us as they sound.

According to a 408-page report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, GMOs are nowhere near as harmful as that little voice in your head, or Russia, want you to believe. In fact, they might not be bad at all for your health.


A committee set up by the National Academy poured over more than 900 research publications investigating the effects of genetic meddling in corn, soybean, and cotton. Their results are counterintuitive, to say the least.

"The committee carefully searched all available research studies for persuasive evidence of adverse health effects directly attributable to consumption of foods derived from GE crops but found none," the report reads. It even goes on to say that GMOs (which the Academy refers to as GEs) can actually provide numerous benefits for human and crop health.

READ MORE: A Harvard Professor Says "Starving Africa" Cliches Are Being Used to Promote GM Foods

"There is some evidence that GE insect-resistant crops have had benefits to human health by reducing insecticide poisonings. In addition, several GE crops are in development that are designed to benefit human health, such as rice with increased beta-carotene content to help prevent blindness and death caused by vitamin A deficiencies in some developing nations."

While GMOs have already been banned by a number of European nations because of health and environmental concerns, they remain legal stateside, where, just a few months ago, the FDA gave the green light to genetically modified salmon, after a 20-year approval process.

Though the National Academy stops short of making any sweeping positive statements about GMO crops and products, they also downplayed their environmental impact. "Overall, the committee found no conclusive evidence of cause-and-effect relationships between GE crops and environmental problems. However, the complex nature of assessing long-term environmental changes often made it difficult to reach definitive conclusions."

But when it came to the increase in yield promised by giant agricultural companies who are hawking GMOs and promising to help world hunger, the National Academy was straightforward; "There was no evidence that GE crops had changed the rate of increase in yields." Yet, they also did not totally rule out the possibility of further research into this matter. "It is feasible that emerging genetic-engineering technologies will speed the rate of increase in yield, but this is not certain."

Despite labelling itself as an "independent adviser on scientific matters," the National Academy's report has not been without detractors. Critics have accused the Academy of being plagued with "far-reaching, unmanaged conflicts of interest" and predicted that the results would be in favour of GMO companies.

The National Academy was set up by President Lincoln to "meet the government's urgent need for an independent adviser on scientific matters," and counts more than 300 Nobel laureates among its members.