“Taiwan Bans GMOs in Schools, Mandates Strict Label Laws” – (Ecowatch)

http://ecowatch.com/2016/01/13/taiwan-ban-gmos-schools/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=c31898d992-Top_News_1_13_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-c31898d992-85381601

At this point, I do not find the increasing volume of these articles to be surprising anymore. They spread like wildfire online in the GMO skeptic community and beyond, despite often not containing much (if any!) evidence of exactly WHY these GMO foods are unsafe, unfit for the health of children, or really, anyone.
In fact, we often times do not even know what kind of genetic modifications were dealing with. It is a HUGE topic and branch of science. So huge, that almost everything you find in a grocery store has been touched by the science.

While there are no doubt some areas of concern (one should always be weary of chemicals mixing with food), very few of these articles focus solely on that aspect of the equation. All I ever see is simply GMOS. There are areas of concern, so toss the whole baby with the bathwater by discouraging the usage and research into GMOs at every turn, sometimes utilizing lies and false information to do it.

No.

First off, though these people like to consider themselves skeptics, they are no more rational than a 9/11 truther, or an Obama birther. In fact, they are in a sense worse. Much like anti-vaxxers, they derive many of their conclusions from fear. Which is dangerous to much needed agricultural research in an ever changing climate. And sometimes even inhumane, when the research that is being held back has the potential to feed millions of starving poor in the global south (golden rice and bananas).

But another aspect of this conversation that makes me laugh now, is how its showcased. The so called progressive GMO skeptics painting themselves as the David, in opposition to the big money and influence wielding Goliath that is the various entities of Big Ag and Biotech.

Indeed, both big Agriculture and Biotech have a huge footprint, and more money and influence than anyone should be comfortable with. Yet at the same time, it has been proven that many of the biggest entities on the Organic/Non GMO side are also not beyond yielding influence to push the agenda of labeling GMOs. Though Big Biotech has influence, so to does Big Organic. Both sides are looking out for number one, above all else. Which makes neither no more a friend of the consumer than the other.

Then there is, communications.

There may have been a time when the biggest names of the Biotech industry had a good handle on what information got out about their products, with little internationally available citizen accessible mass communication mediums. But that time is LONG gone.

Now, in a day and age where spreading information is as easy as a click of a button, that tide has TOTALLY reversed. It started as (and really, still is) a good thing. Making it easier to keep companies honest.

But while that was great, it was lost on a populace not taught to question what information they are being fed. Which is funny, since almost everyone knows you cant always trust your TV (I’ve seen the memes!), yet this goes out the window online.

So while the biotech industry may have had communications domination at one time, not anymore. Which would be fine, if much of the information spread was true and factual, and the fears justified. But that is not the case.

Though Big Biotech certainly should not be blindly trusted, in the age of the internet and unquestioning know it all social media culture, they are not the Goliath.
There are a whole lot more web sources backing the GMO Skeptics than there are backing, the actual science.

And it shows, in the changes showing up in the marketplace. Many companies are now either publicly or quietly altering supply chains, all so they can slap a Certified GMO Free label on their product. Though some indeed are treating this a new fad selling point to generate more sales, I suspect others may also be acting in advance of perceived consumer fears. Even if they are irrational fears (compared to the actual harm potential of the product), it still will cost money if they make the product be overlooked.

As such, hearing news of this company ditching GMOs or that nation banning GMOs does not impress me, or legitimize the cause. All it proves to me is how much power that irrational fears can have, when used as a bullying mechanism.

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