GMOs on the Huffington Post

I know what you are thinking, but prepare to be surprised. While The Huffington Post has been a joke when it comes to science content on their blogs, there has been some good stuff coming out of their science news section. Our own Kevin Folta has been interviewed for the “Talk Nerdy to Me” series on the Huffington Post Science page. Cara Santa Maria talked to him about genetically engineered crops, and issues related to it. Have a look and watch Genetically Modified Food: ‘The Controversy is Really Curious to Scientists”!

“I look at the scientists around me and the scientists I know, and you look at the anti-GMO activists. And we agree with them on just about every issue: we care about the environment, or we’re into worker safety, we want to feed more people better nutritious food, we want to have sustainable ways to grow food, but we differ on this one area.”

Feel free to comment here, or join the discussion over on the Huffington Post. Kevin has been quite active with responses!


  1. Oh, man, the comments there. Personal favorite: “HP [Huffington Post] is on the take from Monsanto.”
    Conspiracy knows no bounds. I can’t stop laughing.

  2. For me, kudos to Cara Santa Maria. She’s exactly what Huff Po needs, she’s what science needs. She’s young, brilliant, sharp, and cool– the face I’d like attached to science.
    The interview with her is greatly edited. Our discussion was really good, she prepared well and we discussed the pros and cons evenly and fairly. I was really impressed with her depth of knowledge on the topic.
    So long gone are the days of HuffPo’s crap science. Maybe they have a winner here.

  3. I dunno if I have the energy frankly.
    Some guy linked the same stupid piece 4+ times and then gets upset that in the 250 word reply limit I “only” discredited 3 of them. Despite my debunking of a lot more of it elsewhere.
    Why must someone always be wrong on the internet?
    I doubt that this heralds the death of HuffPo’s crap science however, any large dataset will have its outliers.

  4. One of my favorite comments: “Flavr Savr tomato by Calgene is genetically altered and I became allergic to tomatoes due the genetic alteration. Newly genetically altered foods with latex genes for shipping such as nectarines, banana, zucchini,celery kiki, and cherries. I have a latex allergy and this does not help.”
    Will HuffPo be doing a follow-up interview? Their editing left the idea that superweeds are a problem only with GMO crops, and that much more pesticide is being used as well.

  5. I would have enjoyed that if it werent for the foot in mouth syndrome I developed in the next comment re: the commercialization of Flavr Savr.. oops!

  6. Whether Flavr Savr failed or not – it doesn’t exist so the guy blaming his allergies on it is nuts.
    Reading the comments is kind of depressing. Poor scientists: if you don’t talk to the public, you’re doing evil secret things and if you do talk to the public, you’re still doing evil secret things.

  7. The fact the Flavr Savr did exist however leaves the door open slightly if you believe in totally absurd science (like the folk claiming the body reads all the metabolites and the DNA in incoming food to make sure it is acceptable and not rare – which would be a rather impressive feat, we should probably be figuring out where the human body stores information on the genomes of everything we eat – it’d save a lot of money, I rather imagine Kevin would be overjoyed to get the human bodies read of the strawberry genome for instance, if only to check his work)

  8. It is sad because I do make an honest effort to use the HuffPo piece as a teachable vehicle. Comments from angry posters hiding behind fake names are boring, and I’m helpless against them. They have more time on their hands than I do and they can make shit up when I can’t!
    So yesterday I didn’t even look at it. Spend a 16 hour Saturday in the lab and figured out something really cool. The best part is, it will change a product that everyone consumes. It is not transgenic, but it is sure different! My guess is that it will be marketed, the organic markets will love it, and there never will be any testing on animals or people. People will eat it, like it, and never complain.

  9. I don’t know what to do about the dis-informing hordes. Since so much of what people learn these days is online, I feel like online comments are actually important. But there’s only so much time and frankly it gets boring. “Oh, great, they referenced that one crappy paper again”.
    But thanks for being out there. The commenters aren’t the only ones watching and reading so hopefully the silent majority learned something.

  10. Total propaganda nonsense.
    The INDEPENDENT studies of GM crops have linked them to a range of health problems: obesity, infertility, organ damage, etc.
    So much other misinformation in this piece, I’m uninterested in addressing it all.

  11. Dave,
    Studies have not linked genetically engineered crops to the maladies that you list. In fact, we have a list of over 100 independent studies that show the exact opposite. You are referring to fringe studies that not only have methodological problems, but have been exaggerated to represent more than they actually do. And some are funded by anti-biotech organizations like Greenpeace, so I wouldn’t really count those as independent and unbiased. Keep that in mind when you accuse others of propaganda.

  12. A compelling arguement, full of well backed citations, logical consideration of the topic and well thought out conclusions. I congratulate you on a thesis which has likely altered the course of production agriculture for the forseeable future.

  13. Latex genes (or proteins?) are naturally occurring in a lot of foods, correct? I have an allergy to latex and cannot eat bananas, avocados, kiwis without tingly, itchiness around the mouth and throat. Was surprised to see a rather long list of potentially offending foods on a latex allergy website (carrots, potatoes, barley, among others).

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