gmosrock's picture
Is it ethical, and why is it necessary, for an industry that claims to be based on science to be so active in PR campaigns to persuade the public to accept their science? Isn't solid science based on objectivity and neutrality, not corporate interest and marketing?

A:Expert Answer

Thanks for your questions. I answered them in reverse order.

 

We launched GMO Answers to provide one place where anyone could find information or ask questions about GMOs. Some of the information is ours―for example, the facts that are presented in our Explore the Basics section. However, you’ll also see reference to peer-reviewed “solid science” and answers from independent, third-party experts in response to the scientific questions we are being asked.

 

We aren’t trying to persuade visitors about the science, but instead want to enable visitors to make up their own minds about GMOs.

 

Why is GMO Answers necessary? From my perspective, for two reasons: In the United States, for about three years now, the conversation about GMOs has been elevated to a national level, due to what we believe is the spreading of unfounded fears and misinformation about GMOs. During this time, the conversation about our GM seeds, and the crops and food grown and made from them, was going on without us. We wanted our voice to be heard. In addition, we had been asked frequently about whether there was one place folks could go to read differing opinions about GMOs. The Ask Your Question section is a feast for the eyes in this regard.

 

Is it ethical? I believe any time someone provides, in good faith, cited and credible information about an issue, whether or not he or she is invested in the issue, it is ethical. But, in the spirit of GMO Answers, I ask you to make up your own mind about this.

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Comments

Rickinreallife's picture

Glad to see there is agreement for "claims to be based on science" and not "to be so active in PR campaigns to persuade the public to accept their science?" http://theconversation.com/modifying-the-message-how-tricks-masked-home-... http://neurodojo.blogspot.com/2012/09/what-did-you-think-those-film-crew...

Kevin Folta's picture

Just my two cents. Going back to the dawn of biotech crops being released the companies releasing them were always accused of not answering questions-- just ramrodding products. FINALLY they met that criticism with this forum.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't, so they are finally going to do and be damned!

It is nice to see the results all in once place and it also is great to see so many independent scientists getting involved. This has caught the attention of many of my colleagues and has gotten them excited about engaging the public.

Ethical. Absolutely! Providing a forum to educate and diffuse horrible misinformation-- a great use of their resources!