Monday, October 12, 2015 by Vicki Batts
Corrupt risk-assessment processes and lack of genuine research from Monsanto and others like it bring serious threats to our environment, our food supply and, consequently, our health, according to a former GMO scientist. Dr. Jonathan Latham speaks out on the deceit that allowed them to infiltrate the marketplace.
Companies like Monsanto produce their own assessments of health and environmental risk factors, allowing them to control the results. With antiquated and perhaps even purposely flawed procedures, they can confirm or deny what they see fit.
“When the results show what the applicants want, nothing is said. But when the results are inconvenient, and raise red flags, they blame the limitations of the antiquated method,” Dr. Latham wrote in an article. “This bulletproof logic, in which applicants claim safety no matter what the data shows, or how badly the experiment was performed, is routine in formal GMO risk assessment.”
Dr. Latham, who began his PhD with creating GMO foods, now worries that commercial interests are beginning to outweigh scientific knowledge. Crops are being unleashed into the environment that may have permanent consequences for plant genetics, the environment and humans. For example, Bt crops (which produce bacterial toxins to ward off pests) were marketed as insect-resistant but in fact may harm humans.
And it’s not just the crops; it’s the herbicides being sprayed on them too – Monsanto has claimed that its glyphosate is perfectly safe. Recently, the World Health Organization has stated that it is likely carcinogenic.
Dr. Latham states what we already know: These big companies do not serve the general public; they serve themselves.
“The commercial purpose of GMOs is not to feed the world or improve farming. Rather, they exist to gain intellectual property (i.e. patent rights) over seeds and plant breeding and to drive agriculture in directions that benefit agribusiness. … The fight over GMOs is not of narrow importance. It affects us all.”