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By Damian Mason
For MAA
The National Academies of Science just released a report proclaiming genetically engineered food crops are safe for human and animal consumption. This announcement sent the opponents of GMO’s into a public relations frenzy. Nothing threatens an emotional movement like facts. 
From the offices of The Organic Consumers Association to the hallowed halls of the Non-GMO Project, jobs are at risk! Their entire existence is predicated on people fearing food enough to donate money to their “not-for-profit” organizations.  
Luckily, the food fear pushers have a willing ally in the media. CBS reported the story with some information from the Academies of Science. They briefly interviewed a pro-science, pro-GMO, PhD. Then they cut back to the studio where the liberal arts majors, who get paid to read tele-prompters, questioned the study. The “news” anchors went on to say “The debate over GMO safety is sure to rage on.”   

You see, that’s how this game goes with the media: Science is good — and irrefutable — if a polar bear’s menstrual cycle proves climate change is real. Science is bad — and debatable— if it supports technologically improved food production.  
The science is solid. The report is 388 pages, took two years to conduct, involved over 50 researchers, looked at 900 studies and analyzed 20 years of data. 
Why 20 years you ask? Because that’s how long agriculture has been harvesting GMO crops.  The pushers of food fear won’t tell you that. It’s better for their coffers if you think this is a brand new phenomenon so you’ll donate (heavily!) to their salary…. I mean, “cause.”
When facts go against the anti-GMO mercenaries, they claim “Big Agriculture” bought off the scientists and paid off the professor. It’s always about money and corporate greed. Unless you’re talking about any of the hundreds of cause groups “not-for-profiting” off biotech food.
Food and Water Watch, a D.C. based opposer of GMO’s, employs 100 people and has annual revenue of $15 million. Executive director Wenonah Hauter earned about $200,000 in 2014. Go to their website and you’ll see lots of lobbyists and organizers on the payroll, but no food scientists.     
Fear sells to a scientifically illiterate customer base. Think I’m being harsh? In 2014, a National Science Foundation poll discovered 26 percent of Americans doesn’t know Earth revolves around the sun. 
Anti - GMO campaigners capitalize on scientific ignorance using fear-inducing terms like “Frankenfood” and “Industrial Agriculture.” Their job is to scare money out of consumers.
Another favorite tactic of the GMO Deniers: insert “Monsanto” into every possible discussion.  To hear these people talk, the chemical company from St. Louis that’s only three times bigger than Chipotle and half the size of Starbucks controls every food calorie on the planet.  
This tactic is so successful, the organization, “Millions Against Monsanto” should rename themselves, “We Make Millions Maligning Monsanto.”  
I’m a farm guy. Agriculture IS a business. I believe in technological advancement in food production. GMO crops reduce labor, save diesel, reduce soil compaction and erosion, and hold the promise of food production in parts of the world still starving. 
You can eat whatever you want. Food is a choice you have that many of the world’s poor do not enjoy.  ust realize when you pay a premium for the non-GMO label you’re not paying for scientific fact, you’re paying for fear. You’re also paying a lobbyist’s salary. That’s money you could spend on a cruise.That is, unless you’re afraid of falling off the edge of the Earth. 
Damian Mason is a farm owner, business person, professional speaker, and proponent of scientific advancement in Agriculture.  Find him at www.damianmason.com.
 


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