The following is an article from The New York Times about “Food Evolution,” a documentary that debunks some of the most common myths surrounding GMOs with facts about their health, safety and contribution to sustainability.
The scientific method is under siege, and not just from naysayers who dismiss climate change or fear vaccines. G.M.O.s — genetically modified organisms — and the crops they enable have become another field of battle. Directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy, “Food Evolution” hopes to demystify G.M.O.s and points to successes like Hawaiian papayas and Ugandan bananas, which were saved from devastating viruses. And while it gives opponents their say, the film rebuts their arguments, including reports that suggest G.M.O.s lead to a rise in farmers’ suicide rates and an increase in pesticide use. (The response to the first: correlation is not causation; to the second, yes, but those pesticides are far less toxic.)
The film also speaks with food journalists (including Michael Pollan, a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine) as well as farmers who have benefited from the technology. And if trust is an issue, Neil deGrasse Tyson, perhaps the most credible public scientist on the planet, is its narrator.
The documentary acknowledges the gorilla in the garden: Monsanto, a leading exponent of modification, is “one of the most-hated companies in the world.” There are many reasons Monsanto raises hackles, Dr. Tyson acknowledges, but “to be concerned about the safety of their G.M.O.s is to be misinformed.”
The food industry recruits scientists to speak on its behalf, but in press notes and email correspondence, the film’s producers say no funding came from any Big Ag company or lobbying group. “Food Evolution” was commissioned by the nonprofit Institute of Food Technologists, and the filmmakers retained creative control.
With a soft tone, respectful to opponents but insistent on the data, “Food Evolution” posits an inconvenient truth for organic boosters to swallow: In a world desperate for safe, sustainable food, G.M.O.s may well be a force for good.
To view the original article, please visit nytimes.com.