The scientific consensus on GMOs

There is a scientific consensus about the general safety of GMOs (that GMOs in general do not pose more risks to the environment and human health compared to other common plant breeding methods and that risks should be assessed on a case by case basis for all novel foods independently of the breeding process). Anti-GMO groups deny the existence of this scientific consensus on GMO safety.[1] How can we see whether there is a scientific consensus?

First we can look at the statements made by the vast majority of important scientific institutions worldwide: the International Council for Science[2], the World Health Organization[3], the European Academies Science Advisory Council[4], the European Commission[5], the American Association for the Advancement of Science[6], the American Medical Association[7], the United States National Academy of Sciences[8], the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology[9], the American Phytopathological Society, the American Society for Cell Biology, the American Society for Microbiology, the American Society of Plant Biologists, the French Academy of Science, the Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities, the Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge[10] and many more. They all declare that GMOs are generally safe.

Second, we can look at surveys of a representative sample of scientists connected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): 88% of AAAS scientists say GM foods are generally safe to eat.[11]

Third, there is a recent letter to support precision agriculture and GMOs, signed by 121 Nobel laureates, including 43 laureates of medicine.[12] That is a majority of 63% of currently living Nobel laureates of medicine. Furthermore, we don’t see a broad reaction from the scientific community against this letter. The only reactions against this letter come from anti-GMO groups. Why would the scientific community be so silent if there were no scientific consensus?

[1] Hilbeck A. e.a. (2015). No scientific consensus on GMO safety. Environmental Sciences Europe.












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