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‘Skeptic’s Day’ a logical opportunity to discuss GMOs

‘Skeptic’s Day’ a logical opportunity to discuss GMOs

If you missed International Skeptics Day on Oct. 13, there’s no reason to lose sleep over it. You were probably too busy facing realities of the day instead of pondering whether a cow has actually jumped over the moon.

I, too, missed International Skeptics Day and its ‘holiday’ status until I visited the website. Shoot, this means I missed a free day off from work, as I always miss on Halloween as well, another so-called ‘holiday’ derived for retailers to ghoulishly pry hard-earned dollars from consumer’s shrinking paychecks.

Skeptics day is actually three different days each year, the website says, including Jan. 13 or Oct. 13 or the first Friday of the year. Stay with me here.

Apparently, skeptics day is for those who question or doubt facts or theories – so-called misbelievers. I guess I’m among the skeptic flock if I query whether to click the reply button on an e-mail promising instantaneous millionaire status.

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However, the folks at the website took advantage of skeptics day. The pro-GMO folks released a press statement recognizing the 1.3 million consumers who have engaged in the online dialogue with questions about GMOs. Answers are provided by volunteer experts (scientists, industry leaders, and others) who have answered more than 1,000 questions so far on the subject.

On this day, GMO Answers launched ‘100 days of GMOs,’ a social media campaign with the hashtag ‘100daysof GMOs’ where one GMO question (and hopefully the answer too) would be posted daily for the social media audience.

A commonly-asked question on the GMO Answers website is whether GMOs cause cancer. “No,” says the online response from Kevin Folta, chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida. “There is absolutely zero reputable evidence that GMO foods cause cancer.”

Another frequently asked question is how much of our food in the U.S. is genetically modified?

The answer lists eight crops from genetically-modified seeds that are commercially available -soybeans, corn (field and sweet), sugar beets, cotton, canola, alfalfa, squash, and papaya. It also notes that no commercially available crops in the U.S. have been created by nature alone. Humans, over our history, have altered all crops, for improved taste, yield, or disease resistance. 

GMO Answers is produced by The Council for Biotechnology Information which includes BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto, and Syngenta.

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