Rob Saik advised CPMA attendees to Know GMO issues ( Photo by Tom Karst )

VANCOUVER — Arguing for the need to shift the consumer conversation from “No GMO” to “Know GMO,” author and agriculture advocate Rob Saik said the ability for agriculture to feed the world may be at stake.

Speaking during the Canadian Produce Market Association’s conference and expo on April 25, Saik titled his presentation “Will agriculture be allowed to feed 9 billion people?” He grew up on a farm in Alberta and became active speaking out on the issue a few years ago. 

Many consumers have a romanticized view of agriculture that doesn’t make room for advances in agriculture technology, he said.

“I believe the non-science movement is the greatest threat to global food security today,” he said. “We have to begin shouting in the darkness.”

The question is not whether agriculture can feed 9 billion people, but whether agriculture will be allowed to, he said.

For example, genetically engineered golden rice has high levels of Vitamin A that would help reduce childhood blindness in developing countries, he said. If widely used, he said golden rice could prevent hundreds of thousands of children from becoming blinded from vitamin deficiency every year. Greenpeace has opposed Golden Rice and fear-based public policy has prevented its spread, which Saik calls a moral tragedy.

“Fanaticism is causing global suffering,” he said.

The industry, he said, needs to fight back to retain control of the conversation. Arguing that all fruits and vegetables have been genetically modified by conventional breeding over the decades, Saik said people should avoid “GMO” and start using the term “genetically engineered” food.

“We will need all the tools in agriculture’s toolbox, including genetic engineering, to maintain global food security with a population of 9, 10 or 11 billion people,” he said.

Saik also was critical of marketers who use certified Non-GMO labels issued by the Non-GMO Project.

“This is a fear-based marketing campaign,” he said. “If the best your marketing people can do as a strategy is to say, ‘Hey, let’s slap a non-GMO project (label) on your produce when there is no genetic engineered alternative — if that’s the best they can do — fire them,” he said. 

Saik directed the audience to his Know GMO website.

Submitted by Marcuscassius on Thu, 05/03/2018 - 06:53

We already grow enough for 12 billion. That's never been the problem. Distribution is the problem. Monsanto can't fix that.

“I believe the non-science movement is the greatest threat to global food security today,” he said. “We have to begin shouting in the darkness.”

Science demands debate. Monsanto squashes it.
Science asks for collaboration. Monsanto falsifies data and hides studies.
Science digs deep and creates for everyone, or at least that's its aim. Monsanto creates profits for a select few.

Monsanto has been selling these seeds for 40 years and has yet to improve yields, quality of food, increased food value or one single attribute that has helped the consumer.
They have NEVER proven that their products don't create cancers. They have NEVER provided a single study produced by a reputable source that says their products are even marginally safe, while intestinal issues and cancer have risen in exact proportion to the adoption of their products. Maybe 69 countries banning them are only a good start?

Submitted by Jim on Thu, 05/03/2018 - 12:48

Another touching "feed the world" article. Nothing but BS. This guy is a Monsanto lap dog and probably owns Monsanto stock. Can't remember the last time I was in a supermarket and saw an aisle marked "GMO Foods".