One persistent theme in my writing about scientific topics is that, to optimally serve our own interests, public discourse and decision-making on issues that are highly scientific should be informed by the best evidence and scientific analysis available, not on lies, myths, misconceptions, or raw ideology. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) is one such issue. The propaganda machine seems to be way out in front of the more sober voices trying to correct the record and focus the discussion on reality.
Of course, any large and vital industry needs thoughtful regulation and watchdogs to keep an eye on them. As we saw with the research issue, sometimes pressure needs to be placed on big companies to play fair. We can also have a meaningful discussion about how best to balance a variety of economic forces, between seed companies, farmers, governments, and consumers. The role of patents is certainly worth discussing, as is the impact of farming technology (including but not limited to seeds) on our environment, water use, and food security.
Let’s talk about the actual issues, and stop wasting time with these ridiculous debunked myths that seem to dominate public discourse.
- Indian Farmer Suicide
- Terminator Seeds
- Saving Seeds
- Suing Farmers for Contamination
- Monsanto and Agent Orange
- GMO Research
Like any new powerful technology, GMO needs to be studied, monitored, and regulated, which it is. I do not agree with arguments that it is inherently risky, even transgenic GMO, and so far the technology has proven extremely safe. Cries of Frankenfood and impending environmental disaster are little more than ideologically driven fearmongering.
Read the full, original article: Persistent anti-GMO myths