Why no one will ever “prove that GMOs are safe”

Water has never been proven safe. Image by Konstantin Stepanov via Flickr.

Water has never been proven safe. Image by Konstantin Stepanov via Flickr. When discussing transgenic crops, I regularly get asked to provide a paper that “proves” that GMOs are safe. Whether you want proof that biotech crops, organic bananas, or conventional peaches are safe, I cannot provide you with such a paper. Safety is a relative term and is generally defined as the absence of risk or harm. As such, asking for proof of safety is, in essence, asking someone for proof of the absence of risk. The risk of what ever is being evaluated is measured in relation to

TED Talk: The Case for Engineering our Food

pam-ronald

My TED talk on sustainable ag, food security and GMOs is now available for viewing. Please watch it and let me know what you think!

Bill Nye, Science Guy, and GMOs – oh my!

nyethumb

Bill Nye caused a bit of drama over his stance on GMOs with the publication of his recent book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation. Biologists were dismayed by some of the unsourced claims he was making, and what seemed to be a failure to investigate the science on this issue. And for someone who has been such a strong supporter of evidence, even famously noting in his debate with creationist Ken Ham what would change is mind on a topic: Those of us who support evidence-based positions on scientific topics like evolution cheered this response enthusiastically. And realizing

Better Know a Scientist: Entomologist Erfan Vafaie

Erfan Vafaie. Image from Texas A&M.

Erfan Vafaie. Image from Texas A&M. This is the first in a new series called “Better Know a Scientist”. The goal of these interviews will be for scientists to share their research, for us readers to gain more knowledge in a field we may not be familiar with, and to learn a bit about the individuals doing the research as well. I’m going to be interviewing my friend, Erfan Vafaie (@sixleggedaggie), who blogs at sixleggedaggie.com. Over the past few years, we’ve sent each other papers that we’ve found interesting, and I’ve asked him about bugs and GMOs to get his insights

April Fools: FoIA requests expand to all published academic GMO research

FOIA2000

Editor’s Note: The following post was part of our 2015 April Fools prank on our readers. A lot of people had fun reading and joking about it. If you were worried about so many researchers being harassed you can now relax, but if you were a graduate student looking forward to a free weekly buffet – we’re sorry to disappoint you! Although this was a prank, FoIA requests are currently being abused to harass scientists with the goal of undermining science communicators. You can find out more about this issue here and we encourage you to sign this letter of