Hot-button food issues of the day, such as the use of genetically modified organisms or the treatment of livestock, tend to pit large industries against smaller activist groups. Often, both sides will claim the science supports what they are saying. That can leave consumers in a bit of a bind.
Take the question of genetically modified organisms, as an example. Genetic modification of seeds is widely used in the United States but remains controversial. It’s banned in the European Union because many people question its safety and environmental impact. So when the 2013 World Food Prize, an award for innovation in food production, recently went to three pioneers of the technology, one of the most ardent opponents of it visited Des Moines to join a World Food Prize symposium on the question.