How anti-GMO groups and ‘Russian trolls’ influence public perceptions of science

Putin bans GMO foods Russia Illegal x
Russian President Vladimir Putin

A new opinion poll suggests that Russian trolls, aided by anti-GMO groups such as the Center for Food Safety and Organic Consumers Association, have been strikingly successful in sowing doubt about science in the general population.

While experts around the world share an overwhelming consensus that foods produced from genetically modified crops are as safe as any other, the latest Pew Research Center polling data shows that an increasing share of the United States public disagrees.

Some 49 percent of US adults surveyed said that foods with GM ingredients were worse for one’s health, up from 39 percent just two years ago.

Over the past year evidence has emerged that Russian bots and trolls, as well as Vladimir Putin’s state-controlled media, have been making great efforts to spread anti-GMO memes among Western audiences in order to undermine public trust in science.


“The uptick in concern [about the supposed health effects of GMOs] has come primarily among those with low levels of science knowledge; there has been no shift in this belief among those with high levels of science knowledge,” according to Pew.

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This will provide scant consolation to science communicators who have been aiming to combat widespread misinformation on the GMO issue. Clearly, turning the tide on anti-GMO fake news will be a tougher battle than they ever thought.

Read full, original article: Anti-GMO activism sows doubt about science

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