GMWatch website relaunched and stronger than ever - The Ecologist
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GM Watch website relaunched and stronger than ever
The Ecologist, 13 August 2009
*GM Watch launches a new website to help debunk the myths behind the biotechnology industry's spin
GMWatch has launched a new myth-busting website dedicated to exposing the myths and lies that abound within the biotechnology industry.
GMWatch has been at the forefront of the global campaign opposing GM food and crops since its inception in 1998. It is an independent and non-profit making organisation, seeking to counter the enormous power and influence held by the biotechnology industry.
The new site, which launched on July 22, replaces an older version which was forced off the web by over a year of cyber attacks.
The website comprises sections devoted to all areas of the subject, including detailed reports on GM myths, the people behind the myths and the GM companies peddling them and reaping the benefits, as well as frequent news updates on global developments and a guide to how the media are manipulated by misleading claims.
Described by celebrated environmental campaigner, author and journalist George Monbiot as 'the world's most comprehensive database on the impacts and the politics of genetically engineered crops', the website boasts a formidable armoury of evidence and analysis, breaking open the lesser-publicised aspects of GM.
GMWatch founder Jonathan Matthews said:
'Our campaign and this site are all about busting the myths about GM crops. The reality is that this is a technology shrouded in risks and uncertainties. The GMWatch website is the place to go for those who want to get at the reality behind the spin and hyperbole.'
The new site has been designed to be user-friendly, making it easy to navigate the vast amount of information that has been collated by grouping it into key 'myths'.
The sweet potato
Top of the list is an article highlighting the porous case of the miracle sweet potato, touted as being capable of catapulting Africa out of hunger and poverty. It recalls the bombastic headlines of late 2002 - 'Millions served' - and the claims of the Monsanto-trained doctor who headed the project that the GM sweet potato was virus-resistant, twice the size of a natural sweet potato and richer in nutrients.
The tuber was hailed as Africa's saviour crop, reported in hundreds of international publications. Then, at the start of 2004, it was quietly revealed that trials had failed and the sweet potato was possibly even less successful than the original crop. This news was reported far less widely, despite a conventional breeding programme in Uganda producing a new virus-resistant variety capable of increasing yields by 100 per cent.
GMWatch is also linked with SpinProfiles - a searchable online encyclopedia of people, issues, and groups shaping the public agenda. It puts at your fingertips descriptions and details of PR firms, activist groups and government agencies as well as criticisms made of these groups from different perspectives.
You can sign up to daily, weekly or monthly newsletter reviews and updates, which are also available on the site, and view GMWatch's archive of nearly a decade of news and analysis.
Visit the new site at www.gmwatch.org
View GMWatch's sister sites SpinProfiles