Minnesota Farmer

Making assumptions

I was reading a “GMO Fact Sheet” put out by an anti-GMO group recently and was struck by several of their “facts” that I knew to be untrue.  One of those “facts” was that GMO’s were banned in the European Union (EU), and since they were banned there, all other “right thinking” countries should also ban them.

There were some assumptions made by these “fact finders” that are indeed not facts.  First off was the assumptions that since a few vocal countries have so far banned certain GMO transformation events, then all GMO’s are banned in all of the EU.  This assumption is wrong on two counts.

Assumption 1) The EU bans all GMO’s.

The EU is not united in banning GMO’s.  There are several of the countries in the EU that allow the planting and use of GMOs.  EU countries are allowing the import of more GMO’s every year.

Assumption 2) Since a few GMO events are banned, they all must be banned.

In a conversation I had with a member of the EU delegation to the Farm Bureau meeting in San Antonio, I found out that there are very few GMO events that are not allowed for import into the EU.

The EU has been a bit slower to approve the planting of GMO crops than the U.S., but that is changing rapidly.  Farmers in Italy and France, once the heart of anti-GMO outrage, are now seeing the advantage in planting GMO crops.  Now the problem is not local opposition, but laws passed in the past that are the obstacle to planting GMO’s.  These laws are being, or will be lifted as local farmers see that they are falling behind.

All too often I see people making assumptions when faced with a few facts.  They assume that because (a) is true, (bcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz) is also true.  Be careful in what you assume.



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