A social movement revolving around food and health concerns has made GMO labeling a galvanizing issue. The grassroots campaign to label foods that contain genetically modified ingredients is a stalking horse for a larger, hydra-headed campaign against an industrialized food system and the technology (biotech) that has come to be associated with that mode of food production.
The politics of this campaign, which is gaining momentum–and industry efforts to counter it– seems bound to inflame the public GMO debate in ways that turn it into a partisan issue. (These are the kinds of dynamics that politicized climate change.) Is there a way to head off this war before it becomes loaded with cultural meaning and poisons the debate? Alas, I think we’re already past that point.
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