Grist‘s Nathanael Johnson recently completed a 26 part series aimed at trying to make some journalistic sense of GMOs, coverage of which has been clouded by misinformation and confusion in recent years.
But while Johnson’s articles delved into some important topics within the broader GMO debate, his final article, posted last week, seemed to let anti-GMO activists off the hook, according to blogger Michael Eisen:
In many ways he’s right. GMOs on the market today – and most of the ones planned – are about making agriculture more efficient and profitable for farmers and seed providers. This is not a trivial thing, but would global agriculture collapse without these GMOs? Of course not.
But Johnson makes several key assumption in arguing that the stakes are low…
And this, to me, is the big issue. Yes, as Johnson argues, the fate of the world does not rest on whether or not farmers can grow and sell glyphosate resistant soybeans. And it is also probably true that the world will neither be destroyed nor saved by transferring traits from one species to another. But that is not the right question to be asking.
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