But despite its roughly 400 pages, the report released Tuesday by the respected National Academy of Sciences isn’t expected to end the highly polarized dispute over biotech crops. Both sides are pointing approvingly to findings supporting their views and criticizing those that don’t.
Yes, genetically engineered crops appear to be safe to eat and don’t harm the environment. But it’s not clear whether they’ve increased crop yields.
“We received impassioned requests to give the public a simple, general, authoritative answer about GE [genetically engineered] crops,” writes Fred Gould, a professor of entomology at North Carolina State University and chairman of the committee that prepared report, in the report’s preface. “Given the complexity of GE issues, we did not see that as appropriate.”