Biotechnology: GMOs: Manna from Heaven or Frankenfood?
R. Stier. Consulting Food Scientists, Sonoma, CA. Cereal Foods World 52(4):207.
There are certain technologies that seem to be lightening rods for controversy. One of these is genetically modified organisms (GMOs). From the Flavr Savr tomato to Starlink corn to Roundup ready soybeans to Golden rice, whenever one of these products hit the news, they sparked a firestorm of controversy. Fear is at the heart of this controversy. This column examines that consumer fear, citing several examples of products that have been called off the market over unfounded fears. Furthermore, the column suggests that the way to overcome this fear is through education. The message needs to get out to people and governments in a way that allows them to understand the technology, the safeguards that are built into it, and the potential benefits. The article also suggests that while scientists gather the data to support the safety, perhaps the industry should consider a professional communicator when it comes to getting the message out to the public.