GMO food advocates won a victory this week, as a US District Court judge overruled a law requiring “buffer zones” between GMO crop plantings and schools, homes and hospitals.
US Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren said the law, passed last November by local Hawaiian leaders, was invalid because it pre-empted state law.
While the ruling likely will have little impact on the overall battle between GMO advocates and their opponents, what it does point out is that hysteria has overstepped evidence in the decisions regarding GMO food.
In a world with a rapidly expanding population, a declining climate and the real possibility of food shortages in parts of the world that are experiencing drought and other crop-killers, GMO foods may be needed to keep people alive.
A study by the journal Environment and Development Economics conducted by epidemiologists and economists claims not deploying GMO plantings in India will cost 1.4 million years of life and billions of dollars.
That study is not alone. Increasingly, respected publications like Scientific American are coming out and saying labels for GMO foods are a bad idea.
The reason? The organic food movement, while well meaning, hurts a lot of people. There’s a lack of choice, higher food prices, and an increasing use of toxic pesticides. It all adds up to a greater danger than GMO foods, which boost the global food supply and help with sustainability in an increasingly difficult environment, working well despite water shortages and a lack of arable patches of land.
The stigmatization of GMO food has caused a labeling frenzy, with several US states passing or considering laws that will require GMO food to be identified. What these laws are doing is helping to delay a potential good that can save millions of lives.