Op-ed writer counters false anti-GMO claims by professor

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FeedingTheWorldWe wish we could say that an advanced academic degree leads one to respect scientific truth, but it ain t necessarily so. In a hard-hitting opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune, Ms. Erin Gallagher counters every point made by an anti-GMO professor (St. Xavier University assistant professor Tatiana C. Tatum Parker) in an earlier commentary. The Trib describes Ms. Gallagher as a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown and a work-from-home mom with a small garden business. She is an active member of the Will County Farm Bureau and is on a volunteer advisory committee for the Illinois Farm Bureau.

Ms. Gallagher counters many claims made by the professor for example that both sides of the GMO debate have sound arguments supported by data. In truth, as Gallagher points out, there are many independent studies at universities worldwide that found that GMO foods and crops are safe and as nutritious as their non-GMO counterparts. In contrast, she asserts, there is no reputable, peer-reviewed research opposing GM foods. Yes!

She further cites that there are thousands of organizations whose research supports GM foods including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, World Health Organization, ACSH, the UN, and the World Food Program.

Gallagher goes on to expose the flaws in Illinois proposed labeling law. For example, she finds that the law falls short on matters of processing and degree. Would an oil produced from genetically modified soybeans which contains none of the modified protein be considered GMO and thus have to be labeled?

She also cites the prediction that state labeling laws would restrain interstate commerce how would food companies manage to label their products if different states had different rules?

Finally, Ms. Gallagher sums it all up neatly the anti-GM movement's drive for mandatory state labeling is narrow-minded and without scientific basis.

ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava applauds Gallagher s essay: It s great to have someone who is actually involved with agriculture (albeit on a small scale) weigh in on the GMO labeling issue. We have said many times that GMO labeling has no positive use in the American economy except for the organic industry. There s a wealth of information about genetically engineered crops and foods in the ACSH publication, Food and You, available here.