At a recent public hearing hosted by Monsanto which included the mayor, scientists, educators and farmers, our mayor said, "I support agricultural biotechnology until it is proven unsafe."
I find this statement very troubling, though surely, this has been our society's attitude for the past 100 years, as we have been and continue to be mesmerized, like little children in a toy store, by each new technological invention and innovation.
Why aren't new technologies guilty until proved innocent and proved safe over an extended period of time before allowed to be unleashed on the public and the planet? Cigarettes, nuclear power, pesticides, and on, have caused untold death, disease and environmental pollution. Their introduction never included their potential or known downsides.
Even now, the impacts to the world of Fukushima's reactor collapse and radiation leaks have yet to be understood. Chernobyl's reactor collapse has left large tracts of land that will never be inhabitable.
Why would Monsanto spend millions of dollars to defeat initiatives in California and Washington state to keep labels on food from telling us whether they contain genetically modified organisms?
Why have numerous countries banned the use of GMOs or demanded labeling?
In our innocence and hope, we believe science and technology will save us from the mess we're in. But time continues to show us that each new fix has created even more troublesome problems.
Just like nuclear radiation, when we find out GMOs are unsafe, it will be too late.