It’s non-GMO month, say natural food retailers. Really. Kind of a crazy irony, as you and your peers harvest millions of GMO crop acres. These are the same grains that we all have consumed in food for more than 17 years -- without a single instance of adverse health or environmental effects.

But this fact falls on deaf ears among food activists who refuse to consider the sound, peer-reviewed science that has proven the safety of every genetically engineered crop on the market. The technology behind every product, individually, has been analyzed and deemed safe by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, Health Canada, USDA, European Commission Joint Research Center and the National Academy of Sciences.

Your normal grocery store, caught in the middle, is being supported by its Grocery Manufacturers Association who launched a new educational website http://bit.ly/1fV6vfi to bring science forward and help consumers understand the safety of GM ingredients.

Anti-GMO activists choose to market fear through untrue exaggerated claims, causing science-challenged consumers to buy into the food label frenzy. And to further capitalize upon and profit from this fear, natural food co-ops and Whole Foods are moving forward with their own non-GMO certification process.

Activists who tout GMO research studies on rat tumors, Monarch butterfly deaths, tainted Mexican corn and many other issues cited to help flame the fears have all been proven wrong by unbiased researchers -- who are not beholden to Monsanto as activists claim. Real science can be powerful, just ask former architect of anti-GMO activism, Mark Lynas, who now supports GMO crops after accepting scientific information as a solution. Read his story here http://bit.ly/1fUxGqD.

I’ve written about seed genetics for more than 30 years. I’m a proponent of food choices including organic. But I’ve also held both farmers’ and seed companies’ feet to the proverbial fire over better management of GM crops (i.e. refuge, single trait or herbicide reliance, etc.). When managed correctly, this technology is amazing. But study the issues yourself. Read a current editorial by Scientific American “Labels for GMO Foods Are a Bad Idea,” http://bit.ly/16w8zp9.

Also, I highly recommend reading a Boston Review magazine story “The Truth About GMOs” http://bit.ly/17glAED written by Pamela Ronald, University of California-Davis plant pathologist and chair of the Plant Genomics Program. Better yet, read the book “Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist’s View of Genetically Modified Food,” by Nina Fedoroff, a leading authority in genetics and molecular biology at Penn State University, and Nancy Marie Brown, science writer.

Armed with real information, I challenge each of you to spend time every week to listen and help consumers overcome any fears they bring up. Tell your story. This is vitally important to your livelihood.

I sincerely thank you for reading, for viewing more valuable content on csdigest.com, for subscribing to our newsletters and for being willing to Think Different.

Kurt Lawton

Editor

klawton@csdigest.com