Friday, December 6, 2013

Close Encounters With GMOs: The Good, Bad, and Glow-in-the-Dark

Close Encounters With GMOs: The Good, Bad, and Glow-in-the-Dark:

Both those for and against the use of GMO foods are adept at trotting out studies, data sets, graphs, charts, and Julius Caesar-level rhetoric. A recent Scientific Americanarticle tried to separate wheat from chaff when it comes to genetically modified foods. After disproving some claims and verifying the others, the authors of the article effectively throw up their hands and say, everybody’s partly right, and everybody’s partly wrong—and beg for some kind of truce on the science.
Such a plea won’t do much good, however, because the debate over GMOs isn’t about hard science. To read through anti-Monsanto websites is to wander through a cacophony of condemnation cast against a very large corporation which claims to have the best interests of humanity in mind but which also seeks to make a profit. Some people see this as a kind of moral double-dipping.
Interestingly, another argument comes up again and again; the argument can’t be pitched in scientific terms, but it appears to lie very close to the real heart of the matter. The claim is simple, and it fairly drips with fear, as most of history’s most successful arguments tend to do: by altering the food we eat, some contend, Monsanto is perverting what is basic, natural, and good in the world.

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