Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Science is a Verb

It has now been more than 20 years since the first genetically engineered crops (“GMOs”) were commercialized. Yet controversy persists.  Farmers – both in the developed and developing world - have enthusiastically embraced these crops. There have been zero documented health issues, and a great many documented environmental benefits, from the use of this technology. There is a strong, global consensus in the scientific community that this technology is being used quite safely.   However, GMO opponents continue to vilify these crops and point to a small set of studies, which claim to have identified problems. Why this disjoint with one side represented by many farmers and most scientists, and a few scientists and many activists on the other?

To explain what is going on here I’d like talk about an insightful statement I heard at a conference last fall in Saskatoon: “Science is a verb.” ....... There are a dozen or so, much talked about studies, which appear to demonstrate health risks associated with GMO crops. They have notbeen accepted as a legitimate part of the body of scientific understanding. It is because the researchers who did that work never engaged in the conversation phase of science to respond to legitimate critiques about their work and to do what it would take to generate convincing data. It seems that they had no interest in fully pursuing science as a verb.

It is not because they challenge a dogma, as some of their supporters would claim......To Read More……

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