Fearmongering from Rodale

posted in: Commentary | 8

In Looking for the Truth, I did a point by point critical analysis of Organic Agriculture Beats Biotech at its Own Game by Timothy LaSalle, CEO of the Rodale Institute. I gave Dr. LaSalle credit for being a smart person who allows his ideology to cloud his judgement.

After reading Why GMO Foods Have Failed at Producing Healthy Food for More People, I don’t think I should have given him that much credit. I already covered most of his points in my previous post, but he makes some new points in this article that are, frankly, reminiscent of the scaremongering lies promoted by the Republican party about imaginary death panels.

I had been of the mind that Rodale was a strong research institution that was overall a good force for agriculture and for science, even if I disagree with some of their recommendations about biotechnology. If Dr. LaSalle’s lack of critical thinking is any indication of what his organization is capable of, then I must admit I was misled as to their purposes.

One sentence from the article says it all:

As the four As (allergies, asthma, autism, and ADD) rapidly increase in U.S. health statistics, we must consider that GMOs could certainly be one of the causes.

Really? We have no other explanations for any of these? Such as increased self-reporting due to media coverage of previous increased self-reporting?

Hopefully I will soon have time to do another point by point analysis, but for now I’ll leave you with a thought from one of the commenters on the article, K:

Ignoring scientific data when it suits you is no way to become a respectable source of information. If treehugger wants me to go against scientific data when it comes to GM foods, why should I believe any articles that want me to go with science when it comes to global warming?

I don’t need an article that is all, “yay, GM foods!”, but I do need an article that presents both the pros and cons, or, at the very least, cons that are real and not made-up.

PS: I was tempted to accompany this post with one of the many insane fearmongering images people have made about biotechnology, but I just couldn’t stomach it.

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Anastasia is Policy Director of Biology Fortified, Inc. and the Co-Executive Editor of the Biofortified Blog. She has a PhD in genetics with a minor in sustainable agriculture from Iowa State University. Her favorite produce is artichokes!