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Food of the Future? Nobel Laureates Say GMOs Safe to Eat, Tell Greenpeace to Stop Campaign Against It

Jul 07, 2016 06:24 AM EDT
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Around 109 Nobel laureates have recently signed a letter, saying that bashing against genetically modified foods (GMOs) by organizations such as Greenpeace should stop.

The letter, which was posted online and released on Thursday in Washington, D.C., is centered around the issue of Golden Rice, a genetically modified food that could decrease death and disease caused by vitamin A deficiency in Africa and Southeast Africa but is strongly opposed by Greenpeace.

The laureates said the United Nations Food & Agriculture Program has already announced that the need for global production of food, feed and fiber might double by the year 2050. However, they said in their letter that organizations such as Greenpeace have misinterpreted the risk and benefits of modern plant breeding.

"We urge Greenpeace and its supporters to re-examine the experience of farmers and consumers worldwide with crops and foods improved through biotechnology, recognize the findings of authoritative scientific bodies and regulatory agencies, and abandon their campaign against GMOs in general and Golden Rice in particular," the laureates said in the letter.

The group further cited scientific and regulatory agencies that have deemed GMOs to be safe for human consumption, noting that there has never been a confirmed case of a negative effect of GMO on humans or animals. The group also added that GMOs' environmental impact is minimal.

"WE CALL UPON GREENPEACE to cease and desist in its campaign against Golden Rice specifically, and crops and foods improved through biotechnology in general," the group said.

On the other hand, Greenpeace, who has pioneered the opposition of the use of Golden Rice, has also released a statement regarding the letter.

In a statement released on their website, Greenpeace said claims that they are preventing the use of Golden Rice is false, and that it simply is just a matter of effectivity. The organization explained that the International Rice Research Institute has admitted that the said GMO does not work and has failed over the past years.

“Corporations are overhyping ‘Golden’ rice to pave the way for global approval of other more profitable genetically engineered crops. This costly experiment has failed to produce results for the last 20 years and diverted attention from methods that already work," Greenpeace wrote.

Instead of focusing on GMOs, Greenpeace noted that people should look for alternative ways in beating malnutrition through diverse diet, equal access to food and eco-agriculture.

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