Exploring GMOs Deeper

I was recently engaged in an online debate about sexual shaming as a response to “disagreement”, or a dislike for reporting. In the discussion, the focus, Amy Harmon with the NYTimes asked me to look at her GMO story with fresh eyes. And so I tired.

A bit of background is important at this point. I have years of experience on the “con” side of this issue. I’ve worked in environmental affairs, been involved with myriad environmental action groups; hell, I drive a Prius. And I’ve read over the years the stories about increased cancer risk, Monstanto’s seed police, contaminated soils, and myriad other concerns. Yet I also recognize science evolves, that what we understand about any particular subject gathers more information, different analyses; that the scientific consensus may change. Plus, I’m willing to admit that I am often within an political echo-chamber, where truly hearing other voices can be rather difficult.

With that, I decided to read the article with as open a mind as I can muster. Ms. Harmon does a great job providing in-depth research that challenges my mindset. But, also, I see that this issue is a giant, freakin’ muddle. I’ve spent a little time digging, exploring and counter-exploring. The main thing I’ve learned at this point: this is no easy project. I found this quote over at Nature perfect:

People are positively swimming in information about GM technologies. Much of it is wrong — on both sides of the debate. But a lot of this incorrect information is sophisticated, backed by legitimate-sounding research and written with certitude. (With GM crops, a good gauge of a statement’s fallacy is the conviction with which it is delivered.)

I found another writer looking to make sense of all of this, over with my friends at Grist,  Nathanael Johnson. He started a series on GMO foods, starting with “The genetically modified food debate: Where do we begin?” If you have an interest in this subject, I suggest you give the series a read.

I intend to continue my dive into this.  Feel free to follow my reading via my Delicious account. This will serve as something of a bibliography on the matter for me. As of right now, my brain is full. And, ultimately, I really want to do the subject justice.