Scientist deconstructs “Zombie GMO Myths”
Published: June 7, 2018
Category: GMO News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
In a recent popular blog, Dr. Jonathan Foley, a global environmental scientist and executive director of the California Academy of Sciences, debunked the most common myths about genetically modified foods.
Foley wrote the blog, “Zombie GMO Myths,” after being contacted by reporters to discuss GMOs. He said the reporters always ask the same few questions, which he calls “zombie GMO questions.” Foley writes: “Some widespread notions about GMOs — especially that they are “needed to feed a growing world” — are wrong and simply refuse to die.”
The first zombie question is the oft-repeated “Don’t we need GMOs to feed a growing world?” GMO proponents claim that we need to double global food demand as the world’s population reaches 9 billion. Foley points out that the global population is now 7.4 billion and he argues that we need 22 percent more food, not twice as much. He also says that GMO crops grown in the world today aren’t feeding anybody. “Most of the GMOs in use today aren’t even primary food crops that feed the world — like rice, wheat, roots and tubers, pulses, and fruits and vegetables,” he writes.
To really feed the world Foley argues the need to address bigger issues such as food waste since 20 to 40 percent of the world’s food is wasted.
Another zombie GMO question is “Don’t GMOs help the environment?” Foley debunks that by stating that long-term environmental benefits of GMO crops are dubious “especially as we seem to having an overall increase in chemical use.”
Instead of GMOs, Foley recommends a combination of conventional agriculture—without GM seeds, subsistence agriculture, and organic farming.
But he emphasizes the need to look at the larger food system and find solutions for problems caused by bad diets and food waste.
To view the full blog, visit: