Who’s Polarizing the GMO Debate?

By Keith Kloor | June 30, 2013 9:16 am

I love this piece in the Guardian about GMOs, I really do. It’s so exquisitely disingenuous that you have to admire the writer’s chutzpah. Let’s start with this line (my emphasis):

Why is it that some politicians and prominent scientists and “communications” agencies are so exclusively preoccupied with GM [genetic modification]?

I can’t imagine that Andy Stirling, the author, wrote that with a straight face. Because when it comes to preoccupation with genetically modified food, nobody rivals anti-GMO campaigners, especially groups like Greenpeace, who have gone so far as to vandalize research beneficial to public health.

Oh, did I mention this part of Stirling’s bio:

Working in between as a field archaeologist and ecology and peace activist in the 80’s, I later co-ordinated nuclear, disarmament and energy campaigns for Greenpeace International, serving on their Board of Directors in the 90’s (and currently that of Greenpeace UK).

Just so we’re clear: I have no problem with anyone working for an environmental organization. (I used to work for an environmental magazine and am quite proud of it.) I only raise his affiliation because no green group has done more to demonize biotechnology and spread misinformation about GMOs than Greenpeace.

Which leads me to this uproarious line in Stirling’s piece:

the problem is not so much the measured, well-reasoned concerns over GM uncertainties and economic effects.

I wonder if he was referring to the measured, well-reasoned argument expressed here by Greenpeace:


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Collide-a-Scape is an archived Discover blog. Keep up with Keith's current work at http://www.keithkloor.com/

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets.From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine.In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest.He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


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