Should genetically modified (GMOs) foods be labeled? Legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives would block state GMO labeling laws and make it virtually impossible for the Food and Drug Administration to ever craft a national GMO labeling system.
Myth 1: GMO labeling advocates are “anti-science”
Fact: The science is clear: The widespread adoption of GMO corn and soybeans has led to increased use of glyphosate, a weed killer linked to cancer by the world’s cancer experts. What’s more, voluntary GMO safety reviews are based on industry-funded science, not independent science.
Myth 2: GMO crops are good for the environment
Fact: GMO crops have not helped reduce soil erosion, as some GMO proponents claim.
Myth 3: GMO labeling supporters are elitists
Fact: Poll after poll has found that nine out of 10 Americans support mandatory GMO labeling—regardless of age, race, income or even party affiliation.
Myth 4: GMO labels will act as a warning
Myth 5: GMO labeling will increase food prices
Fact: Experience and research tells us GMO labeling will not raise food prices. The Washington Post gave the food industry three Pinocchios for making the claim. Food companies change their labels all the time to make new claims, and farmers and food companies already separate GMO and non-GMO foods.
Myth 6: We need GMO crops to feed the world
Fact: So far, yields of conventional corn and soybeans grown in Europe and yields of GMO varieties grown in the U.S. are the same. Reducing food waste and using fertilizer more efficiently would do much more to address food security.
Myth 7: Voluntary GMO labeling will work
Fact: Companies have made non-GMO claims since 2001 and consumers are more confused than ever. Creating a non-GMO certification program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as proposed in H.R. 1599, would duplicate an FDA guidance that already governs non-GMO claims.
Myth 8: GMO labeling will create a patchwork quilt of state laws
Fact: State GMO labeling laws all require the same factual disclosure. Besides, states have long held the right to require disclosures and have used their authority to require everything from “sell-by” dates to grading requirements for butter, cheese, maple syrup and citrus.
Myth 9: GMO labeling is bad for farmers
Fact: Many farm organizations support GMO labeling, including the National Farmers Union. One reason is that herbicides that drift from GMO fields can destroy or damage other crops. Another reason is that GMO labeling will help facilitate trade.
Myth 10: We have been genetically engineering foods for centuries
Fact: GMO crops are novel foods that could not be created through traditional crossbreeding.
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By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.
Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2020, the second-warmest year the globe has seen since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Record-high annual temperatures over land and ocean surfaces were measured across parts of Europe, Asia, southern North America, South America, and across parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. No land or ocean areas were record cold for the year. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Figure 2. Total ocean heat content (OHC) in the top 2000 meters from 1958-2020. Cheng et al., Upper Ocean Temperatures Hit Record High in 2020, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Figure 3. Departure of sea surface temperature from average in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Sea surface temperature were approximately one degree Celsius below average over the past month, characteristic of moderate La Niña conditions. Tropical Tidbits
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