Can We Have Real Dialog on GMOs?

BioFortified GMO dialog

BioFortified highlights the need for dialog around genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as it relates to food and food production.

BioFortified points out how misconceptions are perpetuated by images of plants grown out of test tubes and monster plants, when these images are really incorrect. To make its point, BioFortified shares how Threadless is supporting a t-shirt design contest with the title Food Fight.

Many of the design submitted offer images of killer tomatoes and syringe wielding vegetables. These images are meant to scare and intimidate the public in to believing non-GMO food is better and healthier for humans.
the theme of this contest is “Food Fight”, and if the contest entries are any indication of what kind of dialog this perspective encourages, this can only harm civil discourse. However, one entry in my mind rises above the rest, and that is this one: The 1st Rule of GMOs: You Should talk about GMOs.

Is Media's View of GMOs Fair?

Science in the media can be very hard to explain. This is especially true when the topic, like genetically modified organisms (GMO), is very technical, not very sexy, or controversial. In the case of GMOs, some media outlets cater to the confusion and aim to be sensational. Unfortunately, this approach distorts the facts and may cause consumers to make inaccurate statements about what they eat, buy, or recommend.

On December 7, 2010, Dr. Pamela Ronald, a distinguished plant scientist at the University of California – Davis, appeared as guest expert on the nationally-syndicated “Dr. Oz Show” to discuss the benefits of GMOs.

Unfortunately, what “played out” was way past disappointing. There was unbelievable bias in how the segment was edited to produce the “final” version that overshadowed the sound scientific facts about GMOs. I found it remarkable that much of what Dr. Ronald presented during the filming of the segment was edited “out” of the final version of the show!

It is important to understand how media uses fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) to derail constructive conversations about complicated subjects. Learn more from Dr. Terry Etherton and his response to the producers of the Dr. Oz Show.

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