The trouble with Monsanto and GMO – Dr David Suzuki spells it out

  • Published on October 16th, 2011

In honor of World Food Day, I thought it was important to take a look at the issue of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), and specifically gene-modified food, as championed by agribusiness giant Monsanto.

We’ve talked a lot about GMOs here at Red Green and Blue:

david suzuki I’ve been asked why we’re writing so much about Monsanto and genetically modified food. “It’s been tested,” they say. “It’s safe,” they say. “There’s nothing to fear. Why are you spreading disinformation?”

I’m not a geneticist. If I say “We don’t know enough about this,” I’m just one guy. So I’ll let a geneticist answer those questions.

David Suzuki is a geneticist. He’s one of the top scientists in Canada, his textbook is one of the most widely-used in the world, he’s published more than 30 books. As head of the David Suzuki Foundation, he’s both a promoter of science and a popularizer.

So when David Suzuki speaks, I listen (see the end of this article for a list of sources). And David Suzuki says,

“Because we aren’t certain about the effects of GMOs, we must consider one of the guiding principles in science, the precautionary principle. Under this principle, if a policy or action could harm human health or the environment, we must not proceed until we know for sure what the impact will be. And it is up to those proposing the action or policy to prove that it is not harmful.”

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About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.
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  • Carrie

    These arguments are just as toxic as any GMO or otherwise managed food.
    Please just be honest about what you are producing, label it as such and let us all chose for ourselves. May be pie in the ski at this point but any chance we could start there?

  • oma

    From the stupidity of the arguments of the pro GMO people… I now know why they accept GMO foods.. No common sense. waste of 5 min of my life.. simply put.. if you add poison in seeds to kill a bug… doesn’t it make sense the poison is going to kill us too?

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  • Caapi
  • Barb

    What is wrong with the the people in America????can’t the see that much of the rest of the world is not going for the stuff Monsanto is trying to feed us???? Fox news did an indepth report on this and two people got fired over it because the network wouldn’t let them air the truth. Someone is getting rich off of all of this garbage and doing their best to dispell all the bad things being siad about this food. Why are we banned from growing our own food???? Monsanto started this grab for world food power sometime ago and IF they had gotten it right, it would be a boom for the world. FDA has now in its employee some of the top people from Monsanto to insure this food is OKed by them.Monsanto wanted to monopolize the food industry of the world not matter how bad their products are, They don’t care about us….Why is their genetically engineered foods not served in their own cafe?????????????

  • Thank you for this article. This is just the kind of information that needs to brought to the attention of the masses. Thank you Dr. David Suzuki for your help. Creditable professionals such as Dr. Suzuki are need to validate this problem, and educate the people about the truth about what’s really in their food and the effects that GMO products have on our health and the environment. Hats off to Red, Green and Blue for posting this.

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  • Its simple…research the connections with Monsanto and the FDA. How they change chairs and aprove all that regard the spread of this manipulation system. The food supply.. Then you have the effects of those cultures..its a fact. And really, does anyone want to be in the hands of big corporations on basic elements like food, energy and water. Lets end the corporatocracy of death.. Best regards from Portugal

  • S T

    Wow, unintended consequences. We didn’t know anything about DDT so we let a few eco-nazis get it banned. Now more people than ever are dying of malaria. But no big deal, the eco-nazis are libs so people dying in Africa is OK.

    • Jeremy Bloom

      Ah, another eco-moron. Sorry, dude, but Rush was lying to you, and now you’re just repeating the lies. DDT doesn’t prevent malaria IN OKLAHOMA. And it’s not banned in the tropics. The biggest problem in the tropics right now is that DDT is being OVER-used in agriculture, so mosquitoes are developing resistance. But actual facts would get in the way of your pretty fairytale, wouldn’t they?

      • Urb

        Hi GMO threadsters,

        I must admit that I too have long been siding with cautionary scientists like David Suzuki to move slower and fund much more truly independent and well-replicated research before taking risks with our environment and our long-term health. We are already paying the price for trusting corporate-sponsored science by heightened cancer and diabetes rates, to mention only two. But I write mainly to ask both sides to please try and keep this thread less defensive — argue the issue with documentation and logic, and come back to the issue when someone abandons it through personal attack. We are part of one world, one interconnected environment, and personal attacks eventually frustrate people away from genuine dialogue and united advocacy for change when it is called for. There have been some interesting and informative comments made by those representing each side of this debate. Let’s question the other side’s evidence for a point made, not judge their motive or their intelligence in making it. Thanks.

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  • For those of you who aren’t aware; Monsanto even controls the government and its agencies. Their former VP and lawyer (Michael Taylor), is in the White House, acting as “food safety czar”. If that’s not “conflict of interest”; then, I don’t know what is!!!

  • GMOs are an abomination! I’m no geneticist. In fact, I never even (formally)completed high school. Any ten year old could tell you that if you start attempting to manipulate nature, bad things will happen. We’ve got superweeds and superbugs, bees and butterflies dying off, the incidents of many diseases are escalating out of control: Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, etc. – and all since GMOs first started to appear. Pandora’s box has been unleashed and this evil can be summed up in two words: POWER and PROFIT!

  • Zharkov

    Public opposition to genetically-modified food is a valid reason not to make them. The public also is against polluting our oceans, air, and water supplies, and that is the basis for a vast expansion of government environmental regulations.

    So just because experts say we will not immediately die from eating gm foods doesn’t mean we should tolerate the lack of labels on them. Most people won’t eat them and they need to know which products are genetically experimental. In medicine, it’s called “informed consent”.

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