A critical review in Biotech is the latest voice in the conversation about GMOs and their place in society. The authors, Alexander Y. Panchina and Alexander I. Tuzhikovab, reanalyzed several studies that claimed “technology-related health concerns” with respect to GMOs. Panchina and Tuzhikovab say the evidence for such a correlation was weak, and that the results have contributed to the public opinion’s misunderstanding of GMOs. Their review aims to place the original results of those studies into the right context.
Several weeks after the review was published online, over 100 Nobel laureates signed an open letter to Greenpeace, an environmental NGO. In their message, they requested that the organization cease its efforts to block the introduction of Golden rice, a GMO strain of rice that scientists believe can reduce vitamin-A deficiencies in developing countries.
Richard Roberts, one of the organizers of the letter campaign, told the Washington Post that Greenpeace took an anti-GMO stance to “scare people” and “to raise money for their cause”. However, he is supportive of some of their other projects.
Greenpeace has responded to the letter by reasserting their claim that Golden rice has not been proven to reduce vitamin-A deficiencies, and that the strain will “pave the way for global approval of other more profitable genetically engineered crops.” Other anti-GMO arguments include the fear that genetically modified crops can “pollute” natural gene pools, and that the health effects of GMO consumption are still largely unknown. In order to address malnutrition, critics of GMOs argue for more diverse diets.