Lesson from debate over Food Evolution movie? ‘Doesn’t make sense to judge GMOs as a monolithic entity’


[Marion] Nestle told The Outline that her comments in the film were taken “out of context” because its narrow focus on the safety of GMOs obscures other criticisms of them, like herbicide resistance, pesticide safety, and the power of the corporations that produce them.

But the nut of their criticism — that the film doesn’t sufficiently explore issues with GMOs beyond safety — also serves to highlight a crucial takeaway from the larger debate: it doesn’t make sense to judge GMOs as a monolithic entity. GMOs are not an ingredient, and demonizing them threatens the technology needed to save some of these crops, and the people who grow them. GMO food should instead be judged on an individual basis. “Roundup Ready” soy, a glyphosate-resistant variety of soybean produced by Monsanto, isn’t the same thing as disease-resistant papaya, which saved and revived Hawaii’s multimillion-dollar papaya industry.

Our agricultural system is far from perfect, and things like pesticides and herbicide-resistant weeds are a real issue. Our food system should absolutely be questioned at every opportunity. But what Food Evolution and the resulting debate shows is that whether something is GMO doesn’t tell you anything about its health risk, environmental impact, or the responsibility of the corporation that may or may not be behind it.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Why are we still debating GMOs?