In GMO French fry debate, conservationists sit on sidelines as ‘mob mentality’ poisons discussion

Activists who oppose genetic modification have the “advantage” because of the way they frame their arguments, writes Keith Kloor in his Discover blog, Collide-a-Scape. Because they are usually “drawn from environmental and other socially-concerned/politically active ranks,” anti-GMO activists are perceived as “selfless guardians” working in the best interest of consumers. Critics of anti-GMO rhetoric, as a result, are often “dismissed as tools of the industry.” Activists like British journalist Mark Lynas, who was once an anti-GMO activist, but changed his stance to support the technology, are labeled as “sell-outs.” This works as a form of “delegitimization,” Kloor writes, “the aim is to shrink their status in the green community by depicting them as no longer trustworthy.”

This kind of framing “handcuffs forward-thinking groups,” such as the Nature Conservancy, that try to move away from the mob mentality. “It stifles constructive dialogue and keeps fresh ideas from gaining traction.”

Read the full, original story here: How the GMO debate is framed

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