Last week the USDA released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on newly developed 2,4-D resistant genetically modified corn and soybean traits. As the internet exploded with pro-biotech advocacy celebrating the move towards deregulation of yet another GMO product line, I couldn’t help noticing the number of straw men participating in the debate! Just so the ‘no thank you’ side of the unfolding 2,4-D debacle is fairly represented, here’s why some sustainability enthusiasts don’t consider this potential ‘alternative’ even a little tiny bit preferred.
Dr. Thierry Vrain spent most of his working life advocating for biotechnology companies, as a soil biologist and genetic engineering enthusiast. In his recent TED talk Vrain systematically unravels the biotech spin, from the perspective of a scientist who can no longer ignore a growing body of evidence that GMOs cause problems. No matter how desperately chemical companies seek to paint critics as anti-science, reality rears its evidence-based head: considering everything we’ve learned since 1996, genetically engineered food crops deserve our best and most enthusiastic skepticism.
We met about three years ago, on my birthday. I’d checked out his profile, and knew he was interesting… but I never dreamed how well we’d hit it off! I’ll never have a dehydrator-free kitchen again, if I can help it — here’s why!
Detractors frequently demonize the humble soybean. It stands alone in that regard, among its less maligned cousins: no one accuses pinto beans of causing cancer, black beans of causing man-boobs, or chickpeas of causing infertility and birth defects. The soybean has been exploited on a larger scale, but it’s just a bean. Processed foods — with or without soy — can cause problems. GMO foods — soy or otherwise — can cause problems. But soy contains no magic disease demons, no secret toxins, no evil plan to take over the world. It is simply a legume. So relax, good friends, and rejoice: for soy is no devil! ‘Tis but a bean.