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The cover of the May 2 issue of Nature promises a feature story on “GMOs. The promise. The reality.” Inside is a series of articles about genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
This is interesting because the editors have to be pro-GMO because so many of the journal’s readers (If not the editorial writers) are real scientists, and science overwhelmingly documents the safety and benefits of GMOs. But the editors (as I’ve pointed out in past posts here, here, and here) are left-liberals who parrot the environmental movement’s messaging on most issues. So what to do?
Here’s how they solved the problem:
- Give the articles ambiguous or misleading titles that hide the fact that they are pro-GMOs: “Tarnished Promise,” “A Hard Look at GM Crops,” “Africa and Asia Need a Rational Debate on GM Crops.”
- Toss around the ugly word “Frankenfoods” without rebuttal and never mention by name any of the prominent defenders of GM crops such as Mischa Popoff, Jay Lehr, and Henry Miller.
- Mention only in passing that many environmental groups are on record opposing GM foods, but never admit that all environmental groups drank the Kool-aid on this issue and have said and continue to say outrageous things plainly contradicted by real science. Quote only one or two of them in the entire series of articles… better to not offend or embarrass your friends by calling them out.
- Be sure to mention that the highly regarded PG Economics’s study is “industry funded” but describe the anti-GMO propaganda-front Center for Science in the Public Interest as “a consumer group in Washington, DC that monitors the regulation of GM Food.” Who funds them? The editors clearly don’t think it matters.
- Report frequently but feign ignorance about the source of public distrust of the biotech and GMO industries. Portray it as a spontaneous uprising of concerned mothers, when it is in fact the result of anti-technology leftists co-opting the organic foods movement and using it to wage an ideologically-driven war on two industries that are saving lives and benefiting the environment. (See Popoff’s excellent Is It Organic? for the full story.)
- Focus on just three issues – herbicide resistance, the spread of transgenes to wild crops, and a weird one, that GM somehow has caused a wave of suicides in India – and ignore or downplay the most important issues in the debate that clearly go in the pro-GM direction, such as consumer safety, yields, and economic and environmental benefits.
- Say, ridiculously for a science journal, that “the truth is somewhere in the middle” (p. 26). No, it’s overwhelmingly on the side of GM crops and against environmental extremists on all the issues that matter. GMO’s supporters, many of whom are relentlessly demonized by the environmentalists Nature fails to identify, have been vindicated, while its critics have paid no price at all for their lies and exaggeration, despite having slowed the adoption of new technologies that could have saved many lives.
But alas, Nature just can’t bring itself to say any of that.