Saturday, September 22, 2012

GMOs: Knowledge Roulette

A new documentary on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is travelling the cybersphere right now.  It's a compelling exploration that suggests GMOs could be causing the increase in intestinal disorders, autism, skin disorders (the three often go together - I know firsthand), cancers, and other health problems.  A red flag for me, though was the number of individual farmer and mom testimonials of the miracle that happened as soon as they took their animals/kids off GMOs, and, at the end, a story of a puppy that preferred to eat non-GM food over GM food.  Hmmm....

The documentary has been rigorously criticized point by point at Academics Review, and, after some hunting (because it's not clear on the site), it seems the criticism originated from which is chalk full of good news about GMOs.  The authors are all scientifically educated, but I wonder if their bias is subsidized.

On the Academics Review site, they describe Jeffrey Smith as
"once nearly as well known for his swing-dancing lessons as his “expertise” in biotech agriculture. Still, Smith, who has also enjoyed longtime ties to Fairfield’s Maharishi religious group and the state’s Natural Law political party, travels the world reading excerpts from his two self-published books on genetic engineering."  
At Biofortified, the authors and editors list their own favourite produce.  I'm not fond of attempts to ingratiate me with cuteness, and ad hominem arguments also raise red flags.  It doesn't follow that, because he can swing dance, he can't also be an expert on GMOs.

And here's Jeffrey Smith's rebuttal on the point by point opposition.

And the burning question is, how can we know who's the honest, unbiased, reporter here?