It's Time To Call Out The Anti-Science Left

It's good to be skeptical of huge monopolies, but not of the science itself, and GMOs are not what you think they are. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Incidentally, Stein also believes that Wi-Fi is harmful to people’s health, which all evidence concludes that it is not. On this issue, she actually disagrees with her own manifesto, which calls for universal access to the Internet. A recent Reddit AMA revealed that she is still, at the very least, ambivalent about Wi-Fi.

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Stein has also used some concerning language regarding vaccinations in the past, and her party only just this year removed its support of teaching and funding homeopathy from its manifesto. Worrying signs indeed.

More broadly, Stein wishes to influence scientific research policy by continuously acknowledging the opinions of the public, which could very easily let anti-scientific views seep into the discourse. Americans fear clowns more than climate change, so if Stein stages a revolution in 2016, expect anti-clown research to get a huge cash injection.

Comedian John Oliver recently picked apart, among other things, Stein’s scientifically dubious viewpoints on national television. Taking that fateful step from cynicism into outright conspiracy theory madness, she declared Oliver a member of a conspiracy linked to none other than Hillary Clinton.

GMOs

And then, there’s genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

GMO crops are primarily designed to become resistant to diseases, harsh environments, and to become unreliant on potentially toxic pesticides. As you are probably aware, they have been met with unyielding opposition from many green parties and groups, including Stein.

The Green Party's official position is to place a moratorium on GMOs. If this was to happen, the supply of life-saving insulin – which happens to be mostly made using GMO techniques – would collapse.

“Greenpeace is not opposed to biotechnology – nor the use of GMOs – in contained environments,” Johnston told IFLScience. “We remain opposed to releases of [GMO] crops to the wider environment.” This implies, quite oddly, that they should never leave the laboratory, which really is the end game of the research.

Let’s be clear: There is overwhelming scientific evidence that GMO crops, which mostly consist of maize and soybean, are safe for human consumption. A major report by the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released just this year was cited by Johnston to conclude that there is no consensus on the safety and effectiveness of GMO crops, but a reading of the study shows that almost the exact opposite is true.

It points out that, with some minor exceptions, GMO crops “have generally had favorable economic outcomes for producers,” noting that crops with insect-resistant genes “decreased yield losses and the use of insecticides on small and large farms” with respect to non-GMO varieties.

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