Is Genetically Engineered Food Safe To Eat, Or Not?

BittmanMark Bittman, in his new column, says genetically engineered food is safe to eat:

“the Food and Drug Administration [announced] that new breeds of genetically engineered potato and apple are safe to eat. Which they probably are, as are the genetically engineered papayas we’ve been eating for some time. In fact, to date there’s little credible evidence that any food grown with genetic engineering techniques is dangerous to human health”

They probably are? What does he base that probability on? Where are the independent, long-term, human studies that found GE potatoes, apples, papayas, corn, soy, and “any food grown with genetic engineering techniques” were safe to eat?

Elsewhere he says:

“It’s safe to say that novel biotechnologies broadly deployed may well have unexpected consequences.”

So, GE food is safe to eat but eating GE food may have unexpected consequences? Which is it? Why doesn’t he describe the studies he alludes to up top that would put to rest the “unexpected consequences?”

Food that has been genetically engineered to resist application of the carcinogenic herbicide Roundup, and the herbicide itself, go hand in hand. Right now, you don’t get one without the other. Yet he said that GE food grown with Roundup is not dangerous to human health.

Then he says:

“To date, G.M.O.s and other forms of biotech have done nothing but enrich their manufacturers and promote a system of agriculture that’s neither sustainable nor for the most part beneficial.”

So, GE food is safe to eat but is not beneficial? Which is it? Then he says:

“Let’s finally start labeling products made with genetically engineered food. Right now, the only way we can be sure to avoid them is to buy organic food.”

Why do we need to avoid GE food if it’s safe to eat?

I think Bittman put that “safe to eat” paragraph in to spare himself and his newspaper the wrath of Monsanto. What other reason would he have for speaking out of both sides of his mouth?

By the way, I think this is a bad idea:

“Now that the safety of glyphosate is clearly in question, perhaps it’s time to mandate that the corporation, [Monsanto] — not the taxpaying public — bear the brunt of determining whether it should still be sold.”

Monsanto is not going to pay for data that results in decreased sales. They will only pay for data that shows their products help feed the world and are safe to eat. Which is what they’re currently doing.