*Is the UK’s Mail in Bed with the GMO Devil?

By Keith Kloor | July 8, 2013 9:47 am

No doubt you saw the big, history-making news out of England yesterday. No, not this:

I’m talking about the pro-GMO piece in the Daily UK’s Mail, (by David Rose, of all people) titled:

The great GM food hysteria: Do you believe eating genetically modified crops is like dining with the devil? No wonder- that’s exactly what apocalyptic eco-zealots want you to think.

Now this may be true (though I would substitute “greens” for “eco-zealots”), but it’s actually what the Daily Mail has wanted you to think, too.

For example, here’s a Daily Mail headline from last month: 

American ‘Frankenstein food’ company pulls plug on plans to put GM crops on British dinner tables because there is no appetite for the produce

Speaking of apocalyptic hysteria, let’s recall this 2008 Daily Mail chestnut that helped spawn a zombie myth:

The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops.

So when the world’s most popular tabloid starts calling someone hysterical about GMOs, we should probably check the hypocrisy meter.

UPDATE:  I had no idea there was a difference between the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, since they share the same website and owner.

*I changed the headline of the post to reflect the distinction between daily newspaper and weekend editions in Uk newspapers.


CATEGORIZED UNDER: biotechnology, GMOs, select
  • Graham Strouts

    They are not in bed with them (yet)- just “dining”- more like a first date 😉

  • mem_somerville

    Maybe if they figure out that pro-GMO pieces draw more traffic (sure, it’s largely hysteria in the comments, but who cares–it’s ad revenue, right?) they’ll change strategies?

    I actually didn’t believe it was a real change of heart, and didn’t tweet it yesterday when I was seeing it go around. Cynical me, I suspected there was more to this that I understood. Mark’s discussion made sense to me when I saw that.

  • Tom Scharf

    Well China says people who consume soy oil made with genetically modified soybeans “are more vulnerable to developing tumors and suffering sterility”.

    Of course this is based entirely on a correlation with more cancer in China, not actually any specified causal link. And since we all know there are no possible other sources of carcinogens in China…except GMO’s….you can bank on this fact.


    • Tom Scharf

      I would be remiss to not mention this amusing factoid from the same article:

      “Meanwhile, rumors that U.S. consumers didn’t eat genetically modified food fed into existing paranoia in China about GMO products, which have been described on some Chinese Internet discussion boards as a “soft bomb” unleashed by the U.S. to destroy China and a U.S conspiracy to manipulate the global economy.”

      • Sandgroper

        Like, Americans actually need a conspiracy to manipulate the global economy.

    • Buddy199

      Too bad somebody can’t get a rumor going about the dangers of consuming parts of exotic species.

      • Sandgroper

        Ever heard of SARS?

    • Sandgroper

      ‘China says’? You mean, all 1.3 billion of them say that?


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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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