EXTRACT: Unless their intention is to deliberately mislead the public, GM advocates within the science community must stop masquerading as objective by packaging their partisan views in a veil of "pure" science.
NOTE: For more on Fiona Fox
For more on the SMC and its "impartial" experts
GM advocates must stop masquerading as objective
The Guardian (Letters), 4 October 2012
Fiona Fox (Brave, not cruel, science, 29 September) attempts to portray the Science Media Centre as a vehicle for impartial scientists to communicate wholly progressive research to a fearful, and by implication, irrational, public. In fact, the SMC is a well-oiled PR machine, funded in part by chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies with a vested interest in seeing potentially profitable new technologies and products commercialised.
Recently, the SMC tried to stifle concerns arising from a study by molecular biologists at the University of Caen, which showed that rats fed long-term on a combination of GM corn, and its partner pesticide Roundup, developed higher levels of cancer than normal Within minutes of the results being published in a peer-reviewed journal, the SMC swung into action, spoon-feeding journalists ready-made quotes from eight hand-picked scientists, rubbishing the research and its authors. The SMC introduced these experts to the media solely by listing the universities and public institutions that employ them, failing to give the full flavour of their interests: seven out of eight are either evangelical advocates of GM food, or have received funding from, or worked with, prominent biotech corporations.
Unless their intention is to deliberately mislead the public, GM advocates within the science community must stop masquerading as objective by packaging their partisan views in a veil of "pure" science.