Scientific innovations have often faced public opposition, and yet many eventually became widely accepted, writes Kevin Bonham, a graduate student at the Harvard Immunology Project. In a Scientific American blog, he compares crop biotechnology to two technological innovations that were at first resisted: a primitive form of inoculation called “variolation,” which would eventually give rise to the modern vaccine, and the first airplanes.
Currently, there is some public concern about GMOs despite their many well-documented benefits. Bonham argues that efforts to strengthen food security should be focused on the outcomes, not the specific technologies involved, because conventional breeding and organic farming also have their flaws. It might be too early to tell yet what the major effects of genetic modification may be, Bonham writes, but the question is “What will we say in 100 or 200 years about the fears associated with genetic engineering of food crops?”
Read the full, original story here: “Variolation, Aviation, and Genetic Modification: Progress in the Face of Fear and Danger”
“Allergic to Science–Proteins and Allergens in Our Genetically Engineered Food,” Scientific American