Does the Gates Foundation promote corporate interests over public interests in the GMO debate?

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GMO proponents like to focus on possible future uses of genetic engineering technology, while downplaying, ignoring or denying the risks, as [Bill] Gates did in his Wall Street Journal interview.

Proponents of the technology often try to marginalize critics who raise concerns as uninformed or anti-science; or, as Gates did, they suggest a false choice that countries must accept GMOs if they want “to let their people have enough to eat.”

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For a recent article in The Ecologist, I analyzed the messaging of the Cornell Alliance for Science, a pro-GMO communications program launched in 2014 with a $5.6 million grant from the Gates Foundation.

My analysis found that the group provides little information about possible risks or downsides of GMOs, and instead amplifies the agrichemical industry’s false talking points that the science is settled on the safety and necessity of GMOs. . . .

. . . .

 

As the world’s wealthiest foundation and as major funders of academic research, especially in the realm of agriculture, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is in a position to support science in the public interest.

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Gates Foundation strategies, however, often align with corporate interests. In a recent report, the UK advocacy group Global Justice Now argues that Gates Foundation spending, especially on agricultural projects, is exacerbating inequality and entrenching corporate power globally.

. . . .

Rather than making the propaganda case for GMOs, Bill Gates and Gates-funded groups could play an important role in elevating the integrity of the GMO debate, and ensuring that new food technologies truly benefit communities.

Read full, original post: Bill Gates: can we have an honest conversation about GMOs?

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