I find it deeply frustrating that while pro-GMO commentators always happily face down the health-scare aspect of the anti-GMO movement, they seem extremely loath to address either the environmental or political aspects.
I’ve yet to read an explanation of how pre-loading a plant with environmental toxins is not as bad for beneficial insects as the same crop sprayed with the same toxins (however safe either may be for human consumption).
Similarly, such pro-GMO commentators don’t address super-weeds nor super-bugs, both of which were predicted and both of which have eventuated.
Most significantly, to my mind, they show no comprehension of the power imbalances between large corporates and Western farmers, let alone subsistence farmers in the developing world. Without which understanding they are then unequipped to address the political concerns raised around who controls the food supply. Which is probably why they typically ignore it.
Of course, once confronted with these, they climb into their Great White Saviour superhero costume and talk about starving children in Africa getting diphtheria. Because enabling people to grow a variety of crops for their own use - instead of cash crops for the West - and ensuring they have access to clean water (& Nestle is a long way away with their greedy hands tied behind their back) and simple sanitary systems, is not an option, I guess?
There’s no discussion of the political and economic causes of food distribution inequality. No comment on crop variety (especially grown as a mixed crop) as a factor in health, food security and sustainable farming methods. No response to accusations that Monsanto and other big players are trying to control the food supply, & that (for example) their insistence on forcing GMO corn into Mexico - the home of corn in many splendid forms - is part of corporate colonialism.
In the event that the politics is understood, we are expected to differentiate between small labs and the big corporates - fair enough, so far. But then in accepting the work of the former we are left with no option to differentiate in order to refuse the later. Besides, saying Small Lab X is not Monsanto shouldn’t be a get-out-of-jail-free-card ensuring that said small lab is now exempted from political critique.
I cannot say this strongly enough: it is not anti-science to expect scientists to not act as if they operate in an apolitical bubble. Nothing is more necessary, and therefore nothing is more political, than food.
[this was in response to this piece and the associated comments: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2014/08/07/vaccine-gmo-denial-treated-equally/#.U-VUjjcayc0]