[Editor’s note: David Zaruk, who writes under the blog name ‘The Risk-Monger’ is a professor based in Brussels writing on environmental-health risk policy within the EU Bubble.]
Wouldn’t it be better to continue to work on the technology, refine it, produce further benefits and advance the knowledge and understanding of biotech? The new breeding techniques, the incredible developments (like the Innate potato or the Bt brinjal), the challenges met with impressive solutions … these are things we need to be talking about. These are stories the public wants to hear about (not a pissing contest about numbers of scientists on each side).
When there were publicly expressed concerns about the safety of mobile phone technology (around the time of the UK Stewart Report in 2000), the research community did not occupy itself with a consensus bean-counting exercise. They continued to roll out advancements, new generations of smartphones and further benefits to capture the public’s imagination. Researchers then did not have a need to be right – they were working on getting the technology right.
So it comes down to just one word: Benefits. If you can clearly communicate the benefits, the public will embrace and demand your technological developments. If they only see the hazards, then precaution will be your challenge.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The Risk Corner: GMO Consensus: I Don’t Need To Be Right … I Need You To Be Right