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Back in April, I wrote in a post called Anti-GMO…crazier than I thought
The anti-GMO movement is in a bad place. While they still con people into buying their lies and nonsense, a subtle shift has occurred. Opinion is beginning to turn against them.
Mainstream media has been casting a much more skeptical eye and various lefty/green writers have either changed their minds or at least taking less strident anti stances and are willing to be a little more open-minded. It’s hard to say what has been causing the change in these writers. It could be they are starting to realize that scientists aren’t lying to them. It might be that the antis are. It just might be a combination of both.
Today two pieces were published that add to that worm turning. The first, Unhealthy Fixation by William Saletan on Slate is a long form, detailed look at the anti-GMO movement that pretty much, says the same thing I’ve been saying for some time: The anti-GMO movement is filled with nothing but frauds and liars.
Saletan nails it and hits it out of the park. I have to say that I think it is most in-depth and right-on-the money article I’ve ever read on the issue.
If you’re like me, you don’t really want to wade into this issue. It’s too big, technical, and confusing. But come with me, just this once. I want to take you backstage, behind those blanket assurances about the safety of genetic engineering. I want to take you down into the details of four GMO fights, because that’s where you’ll find truth. You’ll come to the last curtain, the one that hides the reality of the anti-GMO movement. And you’ll see what’s behind it.
What Saletan finds is what we’ve all known for some time. The anti-GMO movement is full of shit. Among the issues he tackles are the Golden Rice and rainbow papaya controversies and shows how the antis keep moving the goalposts when one of their lies get blown out of the water.
About the Golden Rice issue he writes
Potrykus and Conway wanted to try everything to alleviate vitamin A deficiency: diversification, fortification, supplementation, and Golden Rice. But the anti-GMO groups refused. They called Golden Rice a “Trojan horse” for genetic engineering. They doubled down on their double standards. They claimed that people in the afflicted countries wouldn’t eat yellow rice, yet somehow could be taught to grow unfamiliar vegetables. They portrayed Golden Rice as a financial scheme, but then—after Potrykus made clear that it would be given to poor farmers for free—objected that free distribution would lead to genetic contamination of local crops. Some anti-GMO groups said the rice should be abandoned because it was tied up in 70 patents. Others said the claim of 70 patents was a fiction devised by the project’s leaders to justify their collaboration with AstraZeneca, a global corporation.
I’ve never seen the duplicitous nature of the antis summed up so succinctly. I can’t praise Unhealthy Fixation enough. It’s New Yorker sized in its length, but read it. It’s all on one page! It is also the perfect article to forward to your fence-sitting friends or ones who aren’t activists but have bought into their nonsense. If I do have a criticism it’s that I wish I had written it.
The second article is on a blog called The Mind Restrained called An appeal to food activists: You are aimed the wrong direction written by Flynn McEchron
I can get down with fighting the power. Actually, I’ve spent a lot of time doing just that, and working to affect policy directly. But GMO has become the unfortunate victim of anti corporate rhetoric, all the while lining the pockets of other corporations that have been decided the Good Guys.
While not as long or detailed as Saletans’s piece, he hits all the nails on their heads regarding the antis. McEhron, concentrates a little more on the corporate aspect of the issue. It hasn’t got as much traction as that other guy, what’s his name’s article, but it is just as valid and on the money
GMOs could help with the crippling Vitamin A deficiency being experienced by their young, who often go blind before puberty. GMOs are not dividing up the planet and its resources, banks and warlords are. GMO has become the unfortunate victim caught in the middle of So who has benefited from the hype of these sorts of issues overlapping? The Organic industry.
Through social media campaigns, “GMO”, “Monsanto” and “EVIL” have become synonymous. It wasn’t very hard to take the Occupy energy (with all its anti bank, anti corporate jingoism) and let it seep over into the grocer battle that’s taking place in the United States. Whole Foods is more profitable than 85% of US grocers, with the organic industry as a whole generating nearly 5 billion dollars a year.
For some time I thought I was out there alone, in the sense I wasn’t seeing liberal/left progressives calling out the bullshit of the antis. Read both pieces
What’s sad is I still am out there among some of my friends. They don’t want to hear it. They want to remain in the dogma of The Tribe.