Commentary: Rats—rats with huge, ugly tumors
Then the show goes to the money shot: Visuals of rats with huge, horrific tumors—which, by the way, should never be allowed to grow that large under scientific guidelines on lab animal welfare—and Smith claims that 80% of the rats eating GM foods got cancer—when in fact, any reputable scientist would note that the Sprague-Dawley strain of rats used in the study Smith referenced normally develops tumors in about 80% of the population.
Dr. Oz: “So Jeffrey, if these claims are true, how can it be this information is being ignored?”
Smith: “Well, the cover up started more than 20 years ago when the FDA’s own scientists repeatedly urged their superiors to require long-term study because they said these foods were dangerous, [creating] allergies, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems. But FDA ignored the science and now they [only] have short-term animal feeding studies, studies designed to avoid finding problems.”
Which is EXACTLY what Smith just used to bolster his claims: A short-term feeding study!
At this point, Dr. Oz escorts Smith and Bernhoft offstage and brings on Martina Newell-McCloughlin, an associate professor of plant pathology and co-director of the National Institutes of Health in Bimolecular Technology Training Program at the University of California-Davis., firing off the mandatory talk show challenge: “How do you respond to Jeffrey’s arguments?”
Newell-McCloughln offers a great answer: “Actually, we’ve been genetically modifying foods for thousands ofyears. Modern techniques are far more precise, far more predictable, far more controlled. In addition, [GMO foods] are more thoroughly tested than any food or process in history. There have been thousands of experiments, and I’ve been involved in some of those as an external reviewer.”
Then, the “hard-hitting question” from Dr. Oz: “Do you feed your kids genetically modified foods?”
Newell-McCloughlin: “My No. 1 concern is the safety of my family. No way am I going to feed them anything that isn’t safe and nutritious. In fact, I would probably choose genetically modified foods over other foods because I know they are safer [and] perhaps the most sustainable product system you can find out there.”
The real costs of labeling
Then, after treating that exchange as just another “he-said, she-said”—no bigdeal—the show quickly pivots to what Bernhoft and his allies are really after: mandatory GMO labeling.