Pro-farming social media campaigns haven’t changed consumer opinion on GMOs: Here’s why

| | February 28, 2019
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

It happens at almost every farm meeting in Canada. Someone gets up from their chair, walks over to the podium and delivers a 30-minute talk about “the importance of social media.”

The speaker typically uses words like “engagement” and then tells farmers how to use Twitter and Facebook to win friends and influence people….Because of all those presentations, thousands of producers now use social media to connect with consumers….

But are those efforts making a difference? When it comes to things like pesticides, hormone use, antibiotics and genetically modified foods, the impact has been minimal.

“We’ve tracked the level of concern around those four topics … for 10 years and we haven’t really seen any change (in public perception),” said Crystal Mackay, president of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity. We don’t see increasing support for agriculture overall, or for specific topics like GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics or hormones.”

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“With the decline in religious belief throughout much of the western world … the body and food are left to carry a tremendous amount of meaning,” wrote Gillian McCann, a Nipissing University professor, in her book, The Sacred in Exile, What it Really Means to Lose Our Religion.

“The tone of conversations around (things like) veganism … shows a marked similarity to other forms of ideological commitment rather than simply a food choice.”

Read full, original article: Why won’t consumers listen?

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