Debating the Food Debate, Two Views (2)

It's understandable that The Scientist's coverage of the GMO [genetically modified organism] debate focuses on the science of crop technology, and understandable if most of your readers favor continued research and development of GMOs. However, I should hope your editors, reporters, and readers also understand that technology is just one dimension of the controversy. For some GMO critics, social and political concerns outweigh arguments over bioengineered crops' safety to humans and the natural

Derek Maurer
Dec 10, 2000

It's understandable that The Scientist's coverage of the GMO [genetically modified organism] debate focuses on the science of crop technology, and understandable if most of your readers favor continued research and development of GMOs. However, I should hope your editors, reporters, and readers also understand that technology is just one dimension of the controversy. For some GMO critics, social and political concerns outweigh arguments over bioengineered crops' safety to humans and the natural environment.

By framing practically every one of your reports in terms of the safety issue, The Scientist, like most mainstream news organizations, risks portraying GMO critics merely as anti-science. An article quoting three sources who weigh in on the side of GMO benefits, plus a fourth who expresses some mild caution, [can] leave the impression that anyone who opposes bioengineered crops must be willfully ignorant or ideologically motivated. Left unexplored is the question at the...

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