Viewpoint: Anti-GMO activists copy negative rhetoric of politicians to win public support

politician speech

There is a reason that political campaigns run negative advertising–it works. This close to a national election you’ve probably seen plenty of negative television commercials.

Even though we consistently hear voters are opposed to the negative advertising, it still works. We’re natural skeptics. Once a little nugget of information is put in our head, it stays there …. The same concept works for phone banks, mailings, and bumper stickers …. empirical evidence shows they work.

But we can see examples of negative campaigning working in agriculture too …. The constant barrage of attacks on modern agriculture prop up certain narratives. We use too many hormones. We spray too many pesticides. We mess too much with DNA. We’re destroying the environment. We’re polluting the water. We’re creating toxic products. The negative campaigns work by planting little nuggets of doubt into consumers’ minds. So when they think “modern agriculture” they start to associate it with “bad.” The age of social media has made it even easier to spread this narrative.

Related article:  Talking Biotech: Using psychology to disarm anti-GMO activists

[I]t is important to call out negative messaging and offer the other side of the story. It might seem like it’s falling on deaf ears, but the acquiescence by silence is even louder. We have to provide the alternative narrative, even if we don’t have the resources of the other side.

Read full, original article: Negative Political Advertising Parallels with Food Marketing

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