Several weeks ago the Soil Association (organic producers) and several organizations against genetic modification (GM) technology protested to the the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency that it shouldn’t waste money making assessments of consumers’ views about GM technology.
According to Meatingplace, in a letter released to the media FSA Chairman Lord Rooker has fought back.
In the statement, Lord Rooker was very clear and blasted the GM critics and media for lack of evidence. He said, “There remains an anti-science and technology culture in the media and public life, which permeates our education system and into the schools.” These are words which shift the argument from GM to a wider field of debate.
A question was posed, asking if we are served by the journalists, teachers and bureaucrats who inform public attitudes toward science.
In the next 40 years, with the same amount of land, soil, and water, this planet will have to feed 50 percent more people. Outputs must rise while inputs and waste products will need to be constrained.
In the UK the FSA’s statutory remit extends beyond food safety to
include other consumer interests in relation to food. This covers not
only the role of food in society but also understanding the factors
that are important in affecting people’s views about food.
Science depends on analysis and analysis needs evidence and considered and balanced thinking. How the media reports on GM foods and other food safety issues is a concern that Lord Rooker may have been referring to. He thinks consumers don’t see the evidence and consideration in the way that scientific developments in food production are discussed in the media and that this may be affecting children’s views.