Public wariness over GMOs rooted in “instinct” and “imperfect logic,” not science

alysonGMOcommitment

Proponents of modern genetic food modification through biotechnology expect it to help keep civilization going by feeding people who otherwise might starve, but the public is wary at best. Genetically modified organisms, or G.M.O.s, are produced in a more systematic way today and create much faster changes to the food supply, often by adding genetic material from various species into others.

Scientists and laymen have very different opinions about these activities, typically done to boost yields or strengthen resistance to herbicides or insect damage. This suggests that there’s more to evaluating G.M. techniques than the food itself. Whatever its genetic code might say about the grain that it’s made from, man does not live by bread alone.

An analysis of 197 studies of G.M. foods by the Genetic Literacy Project, a nonprofit organization affiliated with George Mason University in Virginia, found that 24 showed them to be safer or healthier than ordinary foods, 11 showed them to be less safe or healthy and the rest showed no difference or produced inconclusive results.

But it does matter when you zoom out and examine the issue from the perspective of human instinct and imperfect logic. Sentiments contained in the old admonition not to fool with Mother Nature, combined with an innate aversion toward things considered tainted or unwholesome, help make opposition to G.M. foods sensible psychologically, though not biologically and chemically, a recent paper by a team of biological and social scientists from Ghent University in Belgium concluded.

ADVERTISEMENT

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: G.M.O. Dilemma: Swaying a Wary Public

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend