Because the term “genetically modified organisms” covers so much territory—from GloFish to fungi-resistant crops—scientific studies about them often get misappropriated or misinterpreted. In response to the miscommunication and confusion about GMOs in agriculture, the National Academy of Sciences released a 420-page report to address public concern about genetically engineered crops. In an article for The Atlantic, James Hamblin not only summarizes the findings of the report, but also discusses the merits of publishing such a comprehensive scientific study. Hamblin makes his point here:
“While the academy found no specific concerns for human health at the moment, the report speaks mainly on the difficulty of assessing the risk of novel allergens and long-term bodily outcomes. This is true for crops engineered by any means. While the report found no large-scale environmental concerns inherent to the act of genetic engineering, the report discusses at length the importance of context. For example, pest-resistant crops might lead to less pesticide use (and, so, greater biodiversity) in some cases, the pest-resistant crops may also lead to other untoward imbalances in ecosystems.”
Read his full take on the findings here.
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