NYT Publishes ASPB Response to 10/24 Article on European GMO Policies

The New York Times published the following letter to the editor from ASPB on October 30, 2015.  ASPB’s letter was in response to the October 24th article by Mark Lynas, the political director for the Cornell Alliance for Science.  In his piece, Lynas laments that due to “Europe’s Coalition of the Ignorant, we are witnessing a historic injustice perpetrated by the well fed on the food insecure.”


To the Editor:

The American Society of Plant Biologists supports the continued use and further development of appropriate, science-based procedures and regulations to assess the risks and benefits of all new agricultural technologies and products, including those developed using genetic engineering.

The use of G.E. to modify plants represents an important advance in agriculture that builds on centuries of human involvement in the genetic modification of crop species.

A comprehensive report, published in 2010, by the National Research Council reviewed scientific studies on the impact of G.E. crops on farm sustainability and found that G.E. crops can provide substantial net environmental benefits compared with non-G.E. crops.

Such benefits include reduced soil erosion, nutritionally enhanced food and substantial reductions in the amount of insecticides farm workers are exposed to and that are released into the environment.

Although it is certainly within the purview of sovereign countries to regulate G.E. crops, we strongly urge all countries to integrate the best available scientific information into their policymaking processes.


Executive Director

American Society of Plant Biologists

Rockville, Md.

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