LA drops GMO ban plan provoking cries of lobbyist interference

| | January 5, 2015
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The Los Angeles City Council was seriously considering a ban on growing genetically modified crops (GMOs) within the city limits. The good news is that it has backed off, not that it would have mattered, because it’s not an actual issue within the city limits of Los Angeles. The disquieting news is that the Los Angeles Times coverage of the conflict is treating the matter as a victory for lobbyists, not for science, progress, or common sense.

Here’s the opening of the L.A. Times story:

Three days before Los Angeles lawmakers voted on a proposal to ban genetically modified crops, the world’s largest biotechnology trade group hired three top City Hall lobbyists to stop it.

If lobbyists did convince City Council members to change their minds, well, congratulations to the city of Los Angeles for making lobbyists look like heroes.

The sole paragraph in Soumya Karlamangla’s report that speaks to the science of the conflict explains that the opposition to GMO crops is based on an appeal to the precautionary principle, not actual science that indicates there’s harm (because there isn’t any). And GMOs do a lot more than boost food production, too. The rest of the reporting is about the city’s rules and regulations on lobbying guidelines.

Karlamangla ends the story with an industry representative saying that members want to make sure lawmakers are “aware of how damaging a policy like this could be.” But strangely, the story fails to discuss this. What we’re left with is a story about a proposed law that is more interested in the sausage-making process of the law’s creation instead of the law’s meaning and impact.

Read full, original article: Los Angeles Abandons Silly, Anti-Scientific, GMO Ban Plans. Blame Lobbyists!

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