Why Are We Still Shouting About GMOs?
Why is it so hard for scientists and the public to agree about the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture? Proponents argue that tweaking a crop’s DNA can increase nutritional value, pest resistance, or yield to help feed the world’s growing population. But many remain vehemently opposed to the technology. Some fear that big businesses like Monsanto will monopolize the agricultural industry by claiming intellectual property rights over GM crops. Others aren’t convinced that GMOs are safe to eat.
Philosopher of science Daniel Hicks of Western University in London, Canada, has studied how sociopolitical and ethical concerns—for example, fears about abuse of intellectual property rights—get mixed up with the technical questions about food safety in the GMO debate. His current research seeks to document how people on either side of the controversy collect and use evidence about the claim that GMOs increase crop yields. He presented a poster titled “Why is the GMO debate so intractable?” here at the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes Science. Hicks sat down with Science to answer a few questions about the GMO debate.
Read more (via sciencemag.org)
Who is interested to dig deeper into the issue, I suggest the special that Nature did in 2013 for the thirty years since the introduction of the first transgenic plant.
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