"Anyone that says 'Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,' I say is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying. The reality is we don't know. The experiments simply haven't been done and we now have become the guinea pigs." - geneticist, Dr David Suzuki
Suzuki warns against hastily accepting GMOs
The Leader-Post (Canada), April 26, 2005
High-profile scientist and broadcaster David Suzuki was quoted as telling reporters at the Regina International Airport Monday before delivering a benefit lecture in Regina, adding, "I'm a geneticist, so I'm very excited by what's going on in terms of genetic engineering. I think we're seeing abilities now that I never dreamed I would live to see in my lifetime. What bothers me is we have governments that are supposed to be looking out for our health, for the safety of our environment, and they're acting like cheerleaders for this technology, which... is in its infancy and we have no idea what the technology is going to do."
Suzuki was further cited as saying he wanted to help raise money for the Saskatchewan organic farmers' bid to launch a class action lawsuit against Monsanto and Bayer Crop Science, adding, "What organic farmers have said is genetically engineered organisms (GMOs) represent a kind of technology we do not want to incorporate into our food growing and I support that."
The story explains that the farmers, who have formed the Organic Agriculture Protection Fund (OAPF), were in a Saskatoon courtroom last November to try to have their case certified as a class action. The judge has yet to release a decision.
They ultimately want the court to rule on whether the companies are liable for farmers' losses due to GMO contamination of certified organic canola crops and farms.
Suzuki was further cited as saying he thinks the technology is too young to tout "so-called benefits" for agriculture, and it is also an experiment in food safety, adding, "Anyone that says 'Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,' I say is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying. The reality is we don't know. The experiments simply haven't been done and we now have become the guinea pigs."
The story says that Monsanto has called the farmers' lawsuit a platform for advancing the anti-GMO position of various groups in a public arena.