The American Council on Science and Health responds to a New York Times article on the paper’s genetically modified organisms’ coverage.
Why America’s supposed newspaper of record has become a voice for anti-biotechnology food activists remains a profound mystery. The only plausible explanation is that this is calculated; the New York Times must be tailoring its reportage to its customers, who consist mostly of well-to-do, organic-food-eating elites. Evidence plays little to no role in the paper’s coverage of controversial scientific issues.
The burritos didn’t contain GMOs, but they did contain E. coli.
“Last April, Chipotle announced it would be phasing out ingredients containing genetically modified organisms. As Science of Us argued at the time, this was a meaningless bit of PR designed to bolster Chipotle’s reputation as a “responsible” or “wholesome” fast-food joint; while GMOs, like any technology, need to be effectively regulated and deployed responsibly, all else being equal there are no valid reasons to consider foods without GMOs to be healthier or more environmentally friendly than those containing them. But Americans are terribly ill-informed about GMOs — they answer basic true-false questions about the technology with barely more accuracy than a coin flip — and therefore become easy prey to this sort of opportunistic corporate feel-goodery.” (more…)
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service hosted a conference from March 12 to 13 at North Carolina State University. The conference focused on the importance of coexistence between conventional, organic, identity preserved, and genetically engineered crops.
The conference was a place where experts could put in their two cents and help the USDA form a plan to better promote agricultural coexistence in the US. Sessions were organized to discuss the the current state of affairs, challenges, and additional steps the USDA is considering to respond to the challenges.
EMAC Director, Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, presented at the workshop. His speech focused on the economic lessons learned from non-GM markets in the United States. Other speakers included Gary Woodward, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs; Ron Moore, Secretary of the American Soybean Association; and Errol Schweizer, Executive Global Grocery Coordinator for Whole Foods Market.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced several steps that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking to address the increase of herbicide-resistant weeds in U.S. agricultural systems.
“Weed control in major crops is almost entirely accomplished with herbicides today,” said Vilsack. “USDA, working in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, must continue to identify ways to encourage producers to adopt diverse tactics for weed management in addition to herbicide control. The actions we are taking today are part of this effort.” (more…)