A few weeks ago, I wrote a column talking about how biotech crop use was finally beginning to gain some measure of acceptance with portions of the general public. Since then, I’ve heard a speech by a market analyst/futurist who predicted biotech crops will be accepted by most people around the globe without reservation by the year 2025.
Of course, there are those who will never accept biotech crops are safe for human consumption. In fact, one of these individuals (named Ben@notoGMO.com) wrote me an e-mail to this effect after my column appeared.
“If a corporate giant is scared to label, then it seems to me they have something to hide,” wrote Ben. “All foods should be labeled.”
Despite this, I am noticing many more pro-biotech articles appearing across mainstream Websites then in the past. One of them, by Keith Kloor and posted at www.slate.com, labeled the anti-biotech movement as the “climate skeptics of the left.”
“Then I started paying attention to how anti-GMO campaigners have distorted the science of genetically-modified foods,” wrote Kloor. “I’ve found that fears are stoked by supposed food safety watchdogs, and influential food columnists; that dodgy science is laundered by well-respected scholars and propaganda is treated credulously by legendary journalists; and that progressive media outlets, which often decry the scurrilous rhetoric that warps the climate debate, serve up a comparable agitprop when it comes to GMOs.”
As an example of this, Kloor pointed to a recent study of biotech corn conducted in France that found that rats fed this variety developed tumors and died prematurely. “Within 24 hours, the study’s credibility was shredded by scores of scientists,” he wrote. “Many critics pointed that the researchers chose a strain of rodents extremely prone to tumors. One University of Florida scientist suggests the study was ‘designed to frighten’ the public.”
So the debate on biotech crops is sure to continue. But it is nice to see that many journalists are no longer accepting any anti-biotech claim as gospel simply because it makes for “good press.”