Monday, February 2, 2015

Musings: Steamroller Activism

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.


Anonymous said...

great article ,one clarification though, CFS has worked quietly orchestrating this for over 10 years, only visible the last few.

Anonymous said...

A statement signed by over 300 scientists and legal experts to the effect that there is “No consensus” on the safety of genetically modified (GM) crops and foods has been published in a peer-reviewed open access journal, Environmental Sciences Europe.[1] It now belongs to the body of open peer-reviewed scientific literature and stands as a citable publication.<><>

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @12:39 AM, review this article regarding your claim:

Anonymous said...

Your words are so true and it's so disheartening. After many conversations with other B&R and long-term residents, I believe that the vast majority are shocked and dismayed by the acrimony and loss of aloha generated by this mean-spirited, fraudulent, and destructive, mainland-based movement.

Anonymous said...

While many on Kauai were annoyed by the grandstanding and hyperbole, the vast majority really didn't pay much attention to "the movement".