One of the most challenging aspects of the GMO debate is navigating the noise. People have opposing views on nearly every aspect of the issue, with many claiming they've got the facts on their side. As I sift through it, I keep thinking, there's gotta be some consensus and evidence in there somewhere.
That quest piqued my interest in the Cornell Alliance for Science. It was formed last year to find common ground, engage farmers in the biotech debate and develop an online information portal about agricultural biotechnology. It's based at New York's Cornell University, with partners around the world.
They were interested in what's been happening in Hawaii with regard to the biotech debate, so I wrote a couple of blog posts for their website, the first of which was published today.
Entitled “Hawaii Polarized by Steamroller Activism,” it briefly recounts what went down as the anti-GMO movement swept the Islands. It also gets into the motivations of the mainland groups that pushed it. To quote one paragraph:
In short, anti-biotech groups are trying to establish case law in isolated, rural municipalities like Hawaii, where gullible politicians and puzzled citizens are easily manipulated and misled by fear tactics, bullying and vague talking points like “home rule."
Check it out.
And when you're done, visit Jan TenBruggencate's Raising Islands blog, where he tackles the meaning of consensus, and how that word has been used to both discredit and support the safety of genetic engineering technology. It's a very thoughtful piece.