Portfolio | Vermont Farm to Food
But there is no reliable evidence that genetically modified foods now on the market pose any risk to consumers.
The Food and Drug Administration says it has no basis for concluding that foods developed by bioengineering techniques present different or greater safety concerns than foods developed by traditional plant breeding. Nevertheless, bills are pending in several states to require mandatory labeling of genetically modified ingredients (a referendum to compel such labeling was narrowly defeated in California last November). For now, there seems little reason to make labeling compulsory.
Consumers can already find products free of genetically engineered ingredients, with labels voluntarily placed by the manufacturers.
“For years, British environmental activist Mark Lynas destroyed genetically modified food (GMO) crops in what he calls a successful campaign to force the business of agriculture to be more holistic and ecological in its practices…
Earlier this month he went in front of the world to reverse his position on GMOs.
At the Oxford Farming Conference in Britain, Lynas apologized for helping “to start the anti-GMO movement” and told his former allies to “get out of the way, and let the rest of us get on with feeding the world sustainably.””
This is a disturbing story about the abuse of the power of journalism and the trust of the public by one of the most, if not the most, influential food writers in the world.
Michael Pollan is a big deal, arguably more influential on agriculture policy than the Secretary of Agriculture. He is the author of five books, all best sellers, professor of journalism at the University of California-Berkeley and one of the most cited commentators on food related issues in the world, with more than 330,000 followers on Twitter, many of whom consider him a hero. Although the public perception of him is just the opposite, he is not a reputable science journalist or—by his own admission—an objective reporter—on organics or agriculture. Even more startling, Pollan admits—brags even—that he manipulates high profile stories on organics and crop biotechnology, particularly at the New York Times—and that the papers editors are willing dupes.
These are strong allegations, but they are not mine; they are Pollan’s own words.