Independent Science News has just published “Monsanto’s Worst Fear May Be Coming True,” an important new article by Jonathan Latham of the Bioscience Resource Project.

Synopsis: The decision of the restaurant chain Chipotle to go GMO-free is potentially a huge blow to the agbiotech industry. The decision opens up a crack in the previously solid front offered by the food industry in support of GMOs. Two factors are at work that will widen that crack: the growing unpopularity of GMOs and the pressure being felt by most sectors of the food industry to produce safer, healthier, and more sustainable products. Going GMO-free is a simple and manageable way for stores and brands to meet that demand. Consequently, a race to become GMO-free may be developing. But there is a third factor in this scenario: hazards in the GMO product pipeline. Many new GMOs are expected to be produced using a phenomenon called RNA interference which uses perfectly double stranded RNAs (dsRNAs). Our research shows that RNA molecules exactly like these were tried and rejected by medical researchers in the 1960s and 1970s as being too hazardous for medicine. The scientific literature evaluating the hazards of RNA molecules in crop biotechnology has so far overlooked this important historical research. As this research becomes better known, it will make defending the use of GMOs much harder.

Read the full article at:

Additional Information

For an excellent examination of how cracks in the biotech facade arise and how their identification can lead to consumer wins in the fight against GMO foods see:

Andree, P. (2011). Civil society and the political economy of GMO failures in Canada: a neo-Gramscian analysis. Environmental Politics, 20(2), 173-191.

For a copy of the paper contact

In order to succeed with its biotech revolution, the agrichemical industry needed to bring food processors, retailers, and grain traders onside. In Canada, the evidence shows that these companies stood together on many issues regarding GMOs.” Andrée gives two illuminating examples of how and when this unity was broken: the rejection — after widespread civil society resistance — of recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (1999) and herbicide-tolerant Roundup Ready (RR) Wheat (2004).

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