BBC Panorama: Promoting GMO and Cultivating Ignorance

From Colin Todhunter at Global Research
“There is no global or regional shortage of food. There never has been and nor is there ever likely to be. India has a superabundance of food. South America is swamped in food. The US, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe are swamped in food (e.g. Billen et al 2011). In Britain, like in many wealthy countries, nearly half of all row crop food production now goes to biofuels… China isn’t quite swamped but it still exports food… No foodpocalypse there either.” Jonathon Latham

I wasn’t expecting much. So I wasn’t disappointed when I didn’t receive much. I’m talking about the BBC Panorama programme on GMOs that aired in the UK on Monday 8 June. The title of the programme was ‘GM Food – Cultivating Fear’. So it was pretty much clear what was to follow.

The programme began with the presenter Tom Heap asking: “Are groups that oppose GM right to be worried or are they feeding the fear?”

There was never any opening discussion about whether GMOs are even necessary. The programme appeared to buy into the calling card of the pro-GMO lobby that there is a crisis in food production and this technology can remedy it. As will be shown, this assumption is erroneous.

After basing the programme on the pro-GMO false narrative that the technology is necessary if we are to feed the world, the onus was then placed on opponents of GMOs to prove that they are unsafe or harmful to the environment. And that set the tone for the next 30 minutes as time and again opponents or critics of GMOs were dismissed for being ‘ideological’ and ‘immoral’ and for not having science on their side. It was predictable stuff that has become a pretty much standard response by the pro-GMO lobby when attacking its critics (see this). It was clear that in the view of Panorama the cultivation of fear by critics of GMOs was the main issue to be addressed.
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1 Comment

dana - June 16th, 2015 at 4:01pm

There is mass confusion between organic and non-GMO and GMO. The former is the process or method of farming while the latter two is the biology of the thing. One can say organic is the external factor, the other, internal. You can have organic-GMO farming where the seeds of GMO crops are farmed with organic treatment and natural fertilizers instead of synthetic chemicals. It would be more accurate to label non-GMO seeds as "natural seeds" rather than organic seed, because, again, organic does not represent the biology of the thing. Both natural seeds and GMO seeds can be grown organically or chemically. This is where the confusion lies and it's was done deliberately: Throwing the word "organic" in the mist of GMO blurs the dividing line for the benefit of GMOs. It is also my reading that the label "100% organic" means non-GMO and the item was organically grown/produced. However, when half of the name/label is not included, it is like stating "Clinton;" but which of the Clintons are we referring to Bill, Hillary, or Chelsea? A lot of products on the shelves state "organic" and I always counter, Is the seed GMO? It is still legally correct to say "organic" when the GMO seeds were grown organically. How many products in the supermarket say "100 organic"? How many products in the supermarket are organically grown non-GMO produce? How many products in the supermarket are GMO grown organically? I hear confusing ringing.