The godfather of GMOs speaks out against anti-GMO activists

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GMO News(NaturalHealth365) On July 8, Food Navigator USA published an interview with Dr. Roger Beachy, CEO, Global Institute for Food Security. Beachy, a professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis and Director of the Center for Plant Science and Biotechnology from 1978-1991, is best known as the godfather of GMOs as he helped develop the first genetically modified food in 1986; a disease-resistant transgenic tomato.

Beachy became infamous after discovering coat protein-mediated-resistance (CPMR); the process of transferring and expressing the coat protein gene of a virus in plants, thereby genetically engineering plants to resist viral infection. His discovery of CPMR led to the outbreak of virus-resistant food crops such as: cucumber, papaya, pepper, plum potato, pepper, squash, sugar beets, and tomato.

GMO guru baffled by the March Against Monsanto

Giving his perspective on the current GMO debate, Beachy told Food Navigator USA that he was baffled by the organized March Against Monsanto because, “I want what they want: safe food and sustainable agriculture…I too want to know where my food comes from.”

Deceiving the world with false pretenses of saving our land – Beachy says…

“We will only be successful if there is an acceptance and integration of all kinds of different agriculture practices. For example, some people think that for agriculture to be sustainable it has to be small. It can’t be small and feed 10 billion people, the projected world population by 2050.”

“The key is that we must take better care of our soil.”

“If we use no-till agriculture, better control crop rotations and manage fertilizer use, and reduce the losses caused from erosion agriculture production will be improved. Some GM crops drive increased use of no-till agriculture, thereby reducing the use of farm machinery, saving fuel and power and it reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”

As for living in harmony with nature, when have we ever managed that, he asks? “Mother Nature is not a benevolent force.”

Anti-GMO activities labeled as liars!

As Beachy concedes that there are legitimate concerns about glyphosate-resistant weeds, resistant insects and poor regulatory processes governing GMOs. However, he insists that in regards to food safety that, “Some of the statements you see from anti-GMO campaigners, they just have no basis in fact. It’s remarkable – they are just flat out lies.”

He likens the argument that GMOs are harmful to a rich populace stigma by stating, “This is a reflection of the arrogance of plenty, the luxury of choice.”

What makes someone so dense to reality?

Born to a conservative Amish small-farming family in Ohio, it’s a wonder Beachy turned out the way he did. According to Scientific American, “Beachy sees no irony between his rustic, low-tech boyhood and a career spent developing new types of agricultural technologies. For him, genetic manipulation of food plants is a way of helping preserve the traditions of small farms by reducing the amount of chemicals farmers have to apply to their crops.”

Like organic farmers who, according to Beachy, want to reduce the use of chemical pesticides, “The reason I got into biotech in the early 1980s was because I wanted to reduce the use of chemical pesticides in food production. I wanted to see if we could develop disease resistance by using genetics rather than agrichemicals. It’s more sustainable and in the long run it will leave us with a cleaner environment.”

In 2009, Beachy was appointed by President Obama as the first director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), where he controlled the $1.5 billion budget for Big Ag’s future until he suddenly resigned in 2011. During his tenure at NIFA, he led the establishment of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the federal government’s only agriculture-focused investigator-initiated grants program.

Beachy came to this position from the Danforth Plant Science Center, where he had served as President since its founding back in 1998. Neighbors with Monsanto in St. Louis, Danforth has long and deep ties to Monsanto.

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  • Donald Lewis

    I have many questions for Mr. Beachy. I started experimenting with Organic Dairy Farming in Vermont in 1950. I did Organic and Chemicals together for three years. Did two simple experiments and discovered that Organic was superior to Chemicals. I stopped using any chemicals in 1952. To cut down on this post look up my book— Learned by the Fencepost — Published in March 2011. It is on Amazon for review by the title
    I am asking Mr. Beachy if he has done Organic and Chemical together and seen the results. If not he is not an expert and he has done his work in a Chemical Laboratory. This is called a test tube farmer. There are many things wrong with his justification for Chemicals and preparing the soil for planting.
    **Shallow till will not stop erosion as the hard pan is close to the service and nothing to hold the first few inches of soil. I find that deep till with a good percentage of Organic Matter will hold water like a sponge and hard pan like a brick. Water weighs 8 lbs. to the gallon and is soaked up by the organic matter and is harder to move. A land slide does not start in the middle of a mountain but at the top with a thin layers of soil.
    ** The first time I noticed super phosphate in the early 1950’s killing the earthworms the best soil enhancer on earth. It was the sulfuric acid to make the rock phosphate available to 20% for the plants that is an overload and the excess ended up in the water ways polluting. It not only kills the earthworms but also the microorganisms in the soil and the tender plant roots for healthy plants. All chemical just simulate the plants.
    Now a word for GMO’s. What on earth would anyone cross anything but plant genes in plants. Man cannot do better than the Master. Chemical Fertilizer is a disaster and burning up the carbon in the soil(Organic Matter) and releasing it as CO2 the green house gas. GMO’s are suppose to be a one shot deal for farmers to control weeds and insect and viruses in plants. Corn at 400 dollars for a fifty pound bag to plant two acres. Can not save any seeds as it is against the law and probably will not produce. Progress or regress any body can make this call..

  • Orin Thurgood

    A truly bizarre person. I especailly like the the statement, “Mother Nature is not a benevolent force”. As he is actually clueless of how mother nature works, he doesn’t know how to leverage it to improve the quality and quantity of healthy safe (preferably organic) foods. I think if he truly believes in the benefit of GMO foods, he should put himself and his family on a GMO only diet! Especially all the wonderful safe products from Monsanta and Bayer. It would be very interesting to see what develops in a couple of years!!!

  • Fed Up Grandma

    Beachy is a disgrace to the Amish community, to science, to farmers, to the people and Mother Nature!

  • Adele

    They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions? The bottom line is, and always will be, that those in favour of Genetically Engineering crops, do not actually understand what it means. It’s bad science (limited and oversimplified to the point of lunacy) and has far-reaching and irreversible consequences to the environment and life in all it’s forms.

  • lifthrasir

    Possibly the man intended good. But being a scientist means you keep up with research and development. You keep check of whatever unfolds and if something does not work, you reverse it/undo it etc. GMO is now known to spread to other conventional and organic crops. Thus a process we cannot reverse. Knowing that most scientific findings are later proven to be wrong, a sane person cannot think it advisable to start something that cannot be undone and thus cannot be tested, whether harm can come from it. And of course we have created new varieties of tomatoes etc. We are far from the original natural plants. The paleodiet forgets to mention that most people did not get older then about 40, eating raw, berries etc.

  • kenwork

    The main issue, I think, is that people have a right to know what they are eating. The legal moves to restrict labeling paint these companies in a very bad light (justifiably). That is where MOST of this protest is coming from. He would be much respected if he said “I feel the same as you do, and everyone has the right to know WHAT they are eating and how it was created”. If labeling would have been instituted ten years ago, the March against Monsanto would have probably never happened.

  • birdblue

    there is no mention of the nutrient content of GMO foods. I beg to differ with Mr.Beachy. When amolecule or cell is altered in some way, another part of that entity is altered as well. i see no future in GMO products. THe American people are being duped to believe this is good for us. SO is the SAD (Standard American DIet) which is controlled by politics. I mean that if the DIary, Beef and Grain industry produces large amounts of their products, naturally, they have a lot of clout and influence government agencies. Obviously, government does not always know what is good for the masses. In AMERICA the people have the right to decide what is best for them. anyhow, I am for heirloom seeds and the food produced by them. they have been working for centuries and still are here with this,. we have no track record about the GMO’s. we have no clue how these seeds are going to be in the future.

  • MoochyPooch

    Dr. Beachy gave a nice interview to another nutrition products publication where he sympathized with the feelings of anti-GMO activists. He even said that GMOs should have been labeled from the get go. Eric took a chainsaw to a reputable nutrition products reporter’s article to make you think that Dr. Beachy was attacking activists in his interview. Please read the original interview, and I encourage the editors here to read it as well.

    And my full disclosure is that I could care less about Dr. Beachy, but I hate it when people supporting a good cause have to resort to lying to make their point. It makes us all look bad.

    • TruthSeeker


      Please don’t let yourself be misled. Dr. Beachy is in no way shape or form “sympathetic” to anti-GMO activists. Also, there is no lying here, and this article simply reports the facts. In fact, 50% of this article are direct quotes from Beachy.

      These quotes from Beachy attack anti-GMO activists, there’s no two ways about it.

      “Some of the statements you see from anti-GMO campaigners, they just have no basis in fact. It’s remarkable – they are just flat out lies.”

      “This is a reflection of the arrogance of plenty, the luxury of choice.”

      He calls us arrogant and liars.

      Worse yet, the Food Navigator openly agrees with him on many accounts!

      Please reread the interview and Eric’s article, it’s plain as day.


  • Jim

    If GMO’s are so great according MONSATAN, why then does the cafeteria at Monsatan have signs posted that states GMO’s not served at their own companies in house cafeteria?

    In what has to be close to the ultimate in corporate hypocrisy, employees at a Monsanto company cafeteria have won the right to have their employee cafeteria serve non-GMO food:

    Please try to explain this away Mr. Beachy

  • Genetic Modification is a tool that can be used for good or for evil. There are a few cases where GM has made products to improve health. But using GM to make “RoundUp Ready” crops is a disaster. All RoundUp Ready crops are deficient in essential metal nutrients. The lack of chrome leads to insulin resistance, … type 2 diabetes. The lack of cobalt results in a deficiency of vitamin B-12 that results in sterility, miscarrage, and inability to create new memory. Lack of magnesium, manganese, zinc, etc results in an ineffective immune system that leads to all type of disease including cancer. A healthy heart requires essential metal nutrients.
    Modifying foods to make the Bt-toxin results in stomach and gut problems and leakage that can contribute to ADD, MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, By law, all seeds sold to farmers with the Bt-modification must be registered with the EPA as toxic. But since this is a genetic modification, the next gereation seeds are just as toxic and the question is why arn’t they required to also be registered as toxic?
    These two main genetic modifications from Monsanto are responsible for much of the sickness in the United States in both animals and humans.