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Neil deGrasse Tyson owes us an apology: GMOs just got real on NEJM

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Reprinted from www.dailykos.com by Diane Reynolds

From flickr.com/photos/66136677@N00/8858202719/: March Against Monsanto
March Against Monsanto
(Image by dsgetch)
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A new article in the New England Journal of Medicine throws down the gauntlet on GMO apologists. GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health

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I otherwise have tremendous admiration for Neil deGrasse Tyson, who has promoted the cause of science in an accessible, assertive, effective way in his professional and media life -- particularly on the show Cosmos. I'm not singling him out on this, but mostly highlighting him in the title and here because I truly DO have so much respect for him on almost every other issue. But he is emblematic in so many ways regarding this unique, muddled, misleading debate.

NdGT's and other friends-of-science's dismissive rhetoric on the issue of GMOs has been troubling, naive and wrong. He and others have equated those who have doubts about the safety of GMO food as being equivalent to science illiterate vaccine deniers, and has a history of promoting the same ol' tired oversimplified tropes implying equivalence between hybrid, cross-bred, or similar crops like seedless watermelons or bananas, and genetically laboratory-manipulated crops like Monsanto's RoundUp Ready seeds. He has clarified some of his dismissive position about GMO critics, but again and again insisted (as though those who said otherwise were clearly ignorant) that there is no inherent, unique risk to laboratory manipulated GMOs compared to traditional agriculture.

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"We have systematically genetically modified all the foods, the vegetables and the animals that we have eaten ever since we cultivated them," Tyson said, continuing to describe how different seedless watermelons, long stem roses, modern apples and other produce is compared to the original wild versions.

In this case, Tyson was referring to traditional breeding and hybridization techniques, however, a common mistake many people make that is eerily similar to one of the Biotech industry go-to "talking points."
GMO jeffrey smith

Jeffrey Smith responded to Neil deGrasse Tyson in the video that can be seen below.

He also called people who question the safety of GMOs "complainers" while also admitting that the modern process of genetic modification of crops like corn, soy, canola and others is fundamentally different.

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