Borlaug joins farmer moms to counter Hollywood anti-GMO campaign
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2015 - A group of self-proclaimed “Moms for GMOs” has released a letter they sent to celebrity advocates including Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Michelle Geller urging the actresses to rethink their support for mandatory labeling of products made with genetically modified organisms (GMO).
The plea is in response to videos produced by the Just Label It campaign in which the movie and television stars spoke out against what they called “concealed” GMOs in products they feed their families, signatory Kavin Senapathy, a co-founder of pro-GMO blog March Against Myths, told Agri-Pulse,
Other signers included Julie Borlaug, associate director for external relations at the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, and several other scientists and farmers. Julie Borlaug is the granddaughter of American biologist and Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug, who was known as the “Father of the Green Revolution” for developing high-yield disease resistant wheat varieties.
“Please, don't co-opt motherhood and wield your fame to oppose beneficial technologies like genetic engineering,” the 13 women wrote in their letter. “Though our jobs differ, we share a common goal: to raise healthy, happy, successful kids.”
The letter addressed several common claims against GMOs. For one, the authors wrote, “hundreds of studies show that the process used to create GMOs, and the GM products currently on the market, are safe” - an assertion that runs counter to Just Label It's claim that the science is “still out on GMOs,” as Paltrow told reporters on Capitol Hill earlier this month.
GMO crops help farmers hedge against drought, prevent food waste and “apply fewer insecticides and less toxic herbicides” - contrary to what JLI argues - the letter continued.
Not only is labeling unnecessary from a consumer safety prospective, the women wrote, but “labeling whether a product contains ingredients derived from a GMO crop tells you nothing about what is ‘in' the food.”
“Genetic engineering is a breeding method, not a product,” the letter said. “It isn't an ingredient to scoop into a bowl.”
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