With radiation leaking from the damaged nuclear reactors in Japan, we have another reason not to believe scientists when they declare that something is safe. A good scientist will never say there is zero risk, only that risk is minimal or negligible. Unfortunately, that isn’t good enough for many consumers when it comes to the food supply. It’s now been 15 years since the introduction of genetically modified crops. In that time there hasn’t been a single credible health concern. A lot of consumers don’t even realize that GM crops are part of their diet. If you ask them though, they’d prefer not to use any biotechnology because it sounds scary. Worldwide, the main GM crops are corn, soybeans, canola and cotton. So far, herbicide tolerance and insect resistance have been the traits commercialized. Both have been a boon to production while helping to preserve the environment. We’re just at the cusp of GM traits that will more directly benefit consumers, but those benefits may never be realized if the consumers of the world succumb to irrational fears. We can accept biotechnology as a tool to improve yields and food quality. Or we can let the food supply become ever more precarious and expensive and deal with the ramifications of starving people. Let’s choose the path with the lower risk. I’m Kevin Hursh.