|© Natural News|
In recent months, there have been several cases where supposedly "settled science" has been successfully challenged in the public forum, including so-called "climate change" science as well as research regarding vaccines and genetically modified foods.
This is good news not just for consumers but for science as well, because the field has suffered from an increasing lack of credibility as more people learn that outside political and financial forces have led to purposefully skewered data and misrepresentations of findings.
Nowhere is that more profound the supposed science surrounding GMOs, as revealed once again recently by the BBC in an interview with the former chief scientific advisor (CSA) for the European Union, Anne Glover.
As noted by GM Watch, Glover has made the rounds in various media appearances of late leveling accusations against environmental groups for "fabricating" claims in order to have her old position of CSA abolished, and ignoring scientific evidence due to ideology.
"There is clearly not a scientific consensus"
However, as GM Watch notes:
[In] an interview with BBC's Hard Talk, Glover is skewered over her claim that there is a scientific consensus on the safety of GM foods and crops (which she takes the opportunity to repeat). The interviewer, Zeinab Badawi, comes back at Glover by citing the statement, "No consensus on GMO safety", signed by over 300 scientists and recently published by a peer-reviewed journal. Badawi quotes Dr Belinda Martineau, one of the signatories and a developer of the GM Flavr Savr tomato, as saying, "I wholeheartedly support this thorough, thoughtful and professional statement describing the lack of scientific consensus on the safety of genetically engineered crops and organisms." Badawi says, "There is clearly not a scientific consensus in the scientific community."
In the three years as CSA, Glover clashed repeatedly with environmental groups over various scientific issues, but especially GMOs, Britain's Daily Mail reported.
"I am deeply disappointed with them. Those NGOs were NGOs that I used to trust and I think many citizens do trust - they are like the unelected voice of citizens," she told the BBC, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "I think that they have ignored the evidence and they have fabricated a scenario.
"Because I have met with many of them, they know that it's simply not true what they talk about," she continued. "But they have an ideology and a philosophy they wish to pursue. That's fair enough but I think you shouldn't try to back it up by bad-calling the evidence. That's not honest."
Extraordinary for scientists to make such blanket claims
GM Watch said that Glover had difficulty in backing up her definition of consensus, in which she said it means "the general perceived view that the technology is safe." But in reality, it may be difficult for her to find a large number of scientists prepared to declare such an unscientific generalization about GMO "technology," especially given that such crops can be engineered to produce lethal toxins, and given that each GMO is different.
"[E]ven a slight change in a plant genome can result in unexpected toxicity or allergenicity," GM Watch said in its analysis of Glover's interview, adding "that experiments have found that some GMOs are toxic, that more experiments have found many off-target and unintended effects even from supposedly precise 'gene editing' technologies, and that regulatory regimes worldwide are based on all this knowledge -- it would be truly extraordinary for any scientist to make a blanket claim that 'the technology is safe.'"
Other environmental organizations also had problems with Glover's statements.
"Our issues with the Chief Scientific Adviser post was that it confused and conflicted with good science process, and was supported by powerful business groups as they could see it was vulnerable to their lobbying," Greenpeace UK science adviser Dr. Douglas Parr told the Daily Mail.
"Greenpeace wants more and better scientific advice and evidence to be used by the Commission, which is why we have advocated strong, broadly-based, well-resourced, independent science advice with clarity about political [judgment] and clear processes," he added.