January 17, 2019

While Elitist Support Holds Steady, Democracy Increasingly Rejects GMOs

Filed under: GMO Corporate State, GMO Hoaxes, Mainstream Media, Scientism/Technocracy — Russell Bangs @ 6:43 am


While support for GMOs among cultural elitists has held steady (but not increased) over the last two years, already high negative and ambivalent attitudes among the general public are rising, according to polling by the pro-GMO Pew Research Center.
As GMWatch says in their introduction, “Given the source – a news service for US agricultural producers – this is an interesting article.” From the article:
“I have complained often about the lack of horizontal polling for public acceptance of genetically modified food – where the same question is asked in the same way at regular intervals, so the results can be compared to detect opinion trends. Finally, we have one good effort from one of our best public opinion research organizations – The Pew Research Center.”
This is especially interesting since in 2015 Pew, in collusion with the AAAS, put out pro-GMO propaganda in the guise of a fraudulent poll. I dissected it here.
“Unfortunately, these rigorous results are not what many in agriculture want the answer to be. First, here is the question that was asked both in 2016 and 2018: “Genetically modified foods are [blank] for one’s health than foods with no genetically modified ingredients”. Respondents could choose better, worse or neither to fill in the blank.”
It’s interesting that Pew offered a question so calculated to garner a negative reply. Asked that way, who but a wingnut is going to say “better”. More often they ask in terms of “what’s your general impression” and offer a range of responses, or “do you have an overall good or bad opinion.” Stuff like that. Even the pro-GM activists seldom claim that GM foods are straight-up “better” than non-GM. Rather, they usually claim GMOs are necessary for other reasons, almost always focusing on quantity over quality. (That too is a lie; agroecology outproduces industrial agriculture, including GM-based agriculture, in both quantity and quality. Indeed GMOs often suffer from “yield drag” because they’re genetically debilitated.)
According to the polling comparison of 2018 to 2016, “In 2018 the results were 49% said worse, 44% said neither, and 5% said better. While these results are discouraging for GM proponents, more disturbing is the trend. In 2016, only 39 percent said GM foods are worse. Digging deeper, those with high science knowledge were essentially unchanged, but those with less science knowledge showed sharp increases in the doubts about GM foods. The bottom line is not only are people who can understand the issue not embracing GMOs more, but GM acceptance is diminishing markedly among the rest of the population.”
In other words those who have more formal education (and almost always, more money) maintain a higher level of pro-GMO support than the people. The article and Pew frame this in a fraudulent way, equating “science knowledge” with one’s level of formal education, as in the 2015 fake poll. In reality the formally educated, including scientists themselves, and especially pro-GMO activists among scientists, are no more likely either to have broad scientific knowledge or knowledge of how science even works, than “the rest of the population.”
As for understanding the issue, GMO deployment is overwhelmingly an economic and political struggle and has vanishingly little to do with science. (Although, those who support GMOs are by definition climate deniers (since they automatically support the escalation of industrial agriculture, by far the worst driver of the climate crisis) and opposed to ecological science.) Anyone who thinks it’s a science issue understands nothing about the issue, and understands nothing about politics or science. Especially since genetic engineering ideology goes against the sciences of ecology, agronomy, biology, and genetics itself. Pro-GMO activists, including pro-GM scientists themselves, are anti-science wingnuts.
The piece thinks that the pro-GMO propaganda campaign, which always has been highly belligerent, aggressive, obnoxious, and expensive, has become counter-productive.
“At the very least, the mini-industry of speakers and organizations that preach to the choir at farmer and agribusiness meetings should be recognized as at best handholding for anxious GMO users, not an effective influence on public opinion. We don’t appear to have much to lose if simply get out of consumer faces, do our jobs, and let the spotlight shift to other food quarrels. In nothing else, giving it a rest will generate some very usable data for planning future action.”
If I were a corporate marketer I might agree with this. But they have a problem in that many of the most ardent pro-GM activists are techno-religious fanatics for whom proselytizing in itself is most important for cult self-affirmation and group cohesion, more important than practical results. So business is not as important to them as to the corporates. Bill Gates, whose Gates Foundation has become the lead coordination body for global GMO deployment, is a combination of cynical bottom-liner and fanatical true-believer in the scientism cult. Perhaps the best example of such a holy roller preaching-to-the-choir assembly of the anxious flock for mutual hand-holding is Cornell University’s Monsanto-Gates funded and coordinated “Alliance for Science”, which is really an alliance against science, against humanity, against the Earth.
“I hope Pew continues to conduct these surveys, but even with just two dots to connect, GM proponents should seriously reconsider their strategy. Maybe even ask some questions like, is the now considerable advocation effort worth it? While a tenuous case could be made with without the constant pro-GMO public relations effort, the results could have been a lot worse, but that’s a pretty small accomplishment. Is it unthinkable to just disengage from this debate? What if our advocating is the driving factor for this trend? That cannot be ruled out.”
What’s truly unthinkable would be to desist from a product line so odious to consumers. But as we see the corporates themselves aren’t motivated by the bottom line alone. They too are fanatics, as is their destruction-based civilization as a whole.

%d bloggers like this: