Anti-GMO critics could use lesson in critical thinking

critical thinking

The debate over GMOs is a case study in critical thinking. By exploring the errors in fact and thinking circulated by anti-GMO activists, you can learn a lot about how to think critically. William Saletan, author of a recent Slate article, “Unhealthy Fixation” on the misleading attack on GMOs, offers 13 examples of shaky and contradictory analysis. Here are a few of them:

1. Beware of generalizations: Anti-GMO critics quote a statement from the World Health Organization: “Different GMO include different genes inserted in different ways…their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.” That’s the problem with GMO labeling: It’s unwarranted segregation.

2. Beware of political agendas: Critics dismiss Golden Rice, which is engineered to relieve vitamin A deficiency, as “a weapon to attack the biotech industry’s critics.” But rice is food. Vitamin A is a nutrient. If you campaign against a nutritional project because you see it as a weapon for the other side, you are the one playing politics.

3. Think about the big picture: Why would you demand a label that puts GM rice, GM papayas, and safer potatoes in a category with products engineered for herbicide tolerance? Genetic engineering is a technique, not a type of food, and banning it would shut down all the good things it can do.

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Top Comment: “For anyone who thinks GMOs are harmless…look what they did to Neil Young’s music.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Food for Thought

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