I came across this article listing the reasons why the anti-GMO movement is dead. I certainly agree those are good reasons why the debate should be over. But is it?
I’m going to say, “not so fast.” I agree that we’ve seen a huge decrease in the prevalence of the anti-GMO message. Those groups have found other things to scare people about. Increasingly, young people support biotechnology. And the issue seems trivial as we confront other looming problems, like climate change.
But here’s the thing. While the anti-GMO disinformation and propaganda has died down, the overall message is still part of the public consciousness. Unfortunately, people don’t just forget when the faucet closes. It lingers, even if just under the surface.
I’d offer high fructose corn syrup as an analogy. What we know is that sugar is sugar. HFCS is no worse or different than any other sweeteners. But there was a huge coordinated campaign against it several years ago. Everyone heard that HFCS was a societal ill causing a range of maladies. And while the furor has died down, I’ll still occasionally hear people make a negative comment about it. And you can still find food packaging boasting that it contains no HFCS. The “HFCS = bad” idea is still part of the public consciousness.
The same is true of the anti-GMO movement. It’s definitely dying. Its days are limited. But it’s still there. Unfortunately, I think it’ll be around for some time yet. The good news is that the right side is winning, and we’ll continue to see support for GMOs grow over time.