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The Cornell Alliance for Science had booked the Space @GreenStar Co-op for their September 10, live event, “Ask Me Anything About GMOs.”
GreenStar agreed to rent the Space because they do so without censorship but also without any endorsement. While most of GreenStar’s members are anti-GMO, not all members feel that way. In the spirit of democratic cooperation, there have to be ways even for unpopular ideas to be heard.
But the event was seized upon by a few vociferous people, mischaracterized, and misrepresented. Assumptions of motives were disseminated quickly across the web without any attempt at contacting either GreenStar or the Alliance to hear what their motives were regarding the event.
[Editor’s note: The leading critic of the scheduled event at GreenStar is Jonathan Latham, founder of the anti-GMO “Bioscience Research Project” and publisher of the anti-science website, Independent Science News. His post here led to numerous other inflammatory blogs that led the co-sponsors of the event to cancel it.]
We understand why people reacted the way they did, but they were not presented with the truth. We each needed to speak for ourselves about our relationships to this event and our intents as the proposed moderators.
GreenStar has always taken a strong, anti-GMO position. A member of the Non-GMO project, GreenStar is concerned that the GM industry restricts access to its products by researchers and has compromised the science by doing so. The co-op supports GM labeling.
The Cornell Alliance for Science encourages evidence-based decision-making. It promotes access to innovation to ensure that scientists have access to the tools needed to find innovative solutions to challenges. The Alliance emphasizes the importance of choice—so that farmers and consumers can make their own decisions about what they grow and eat.
As organizations and as moderators, we do not agree about GMO’s but we do both believe there is a lot that could have been gained from such a discussion promised by this event.
Read full, original post: Tolerance is required for true co-operation