A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) on GE crops and technology was met with cheers from the biotech industry, but little meaningful scrutiny by the mainstream media.
Initial media reports boiled the message down to “GMOs Are Safe” and even “healthy.” Some reports even claimed that the study “proves” the safety of genetically modified crops.
Aside from the obvious—that the headlines over-simplify the NAS findings in a way that spins favorable for the biotech industry—the media also overlooked the influence, as reported by Food & Water Watch, of the biotech industry on The National Research Council (NRC), the research arm of the NAS.
Biased or not, and despite the positive spin by most media outlets, the report’s “conclusions” left plenty of room for doubt on a range of issues, from safety, to improved yields, to damage to the environment. On many the issues the committee, made up of 20 scientists and policy experts, couldn’t—or wouldn’t—commit.
Instead the experts produced a 400-page report full of equivocations, and of recommendations the committee knows will be ignored, but little in the way of clarity.
Here are three take-aways from the NAS report.