Effects of Media on Understanding of the GMO Concept
Effects of Media on Understanding of the GMO Concept
Biotechnology through genetic engineering is giving the human race novel and diverse ways in which it can engage in agricultural and commercial activities. Cultivation of GMO foods has helped the globe’s population to cover the present gap in its food demand and supply chain. The potential benefits of GMO represent the main reason as to why I chose to address media perception of the science. The media has been central since the advent and development of GMO concepts. The media gives the public polarized information over the genetic-based science resulting in mass resistance and slacken development of the industry. Emergence of agricultural engineering led to adverse social and ethical implications as the public does not understand how GMO crops protect the eco-system while increasing food yields. The GMO concepts is the potential solution to malnutrition and food shortages that the media should help cultivate and develop through release of sufficient and just information.
The media acts against its main principle of neutrality when it comes to information revolving around crops grown through genetic engineering. Media is polarized by audience preferences and advertiser requirements making the institutions operate under maximum benefit instead of freedom and truth (Maeseele 189). GM crops with herbicide tolerance are known to reduce application of toxic herbicides and pesticides on food. Moreover, GM crops facilitate reduction of green house gas emissions by mitigating the need to carry out mechanical land plowing. Despite these simple merits of the science, the media focuses its view on the potential emergence o superweeds and superpests as the consequence of the herbicide tolerant genes. The media argues on the potential imbalance in nature because of the novel weed and pest breeds. Study reveals that it is human nature to pay more attention to negative news. This is perhaps the reason why media emphasizes on the polarized view of GMOs.
Major concerns arising from media coverage of GMO focus on the potential risks of the products on human health and biodiversity. Some of the concerns include antibiotic resistance, nutritional challenges, toxin formations, and allergenicity (Maghari and Ardekani 115). The proponents of GM technologies argue on the safety of products as seen in selective breeding gene transfers. Agri-biotech firms also seen as advertisers by media houses argue on the potential customer advantages in improved yields and nutritional values. Past literature reveals that as much as scientists argue on the success of genetic engineering, the champion against public publication of the breakthroughs until the field is aligned with established science standards (Rousselière and Rousselière 16). Analysis of opinions from health professionals, scientists, and socialists depict varying and unstable views of GM. The varying perceptions put the media’s emphasis on negative opinions as inaccurate because there are no sources of validation.
The media plays a substantial role in determining the conclusion of the perception of people towards genetically modified foods. GMO products will continue to attract extensive media coverage simply because of its potential benefits that can revolutionize the human society. Nations are slowly encouraging the consumption of GM crops as sufficient information is availed over the subject to counter the dominant media implicated perception. Developing countries have little information over genetic engineering thus experience resistance. Private organizations add on the resistance as they restrict product testing as a function of trade secrecy. Similar to the unstable perceptions, media should employ a neutral position and engage in constructive debate and information release to the media in order to allow smooth growth of the genetic based industry.
Maeseele, Pieter. “Communication, media, and genetically modified food: A politicized reading.” Catalan Journal of communication &cultural studies. 5.2 (2013): 183-199. Print.
Maghari, BM, and AM Ardekani. “Genetically Modified Foods and Social Concerns.” Avicenna Journal of Medical Biotechnology. 3.3 (2011): 109-117. Print.
Rousselière, Damien, and Samira Rousselière. “On the Impact of Trust on Consumer Willingness to Purchase Gm Food: Evidence from a European Survey.” Revue D’etudes En Agriculture Et Environnement = Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies. 91.1 (2010): 5-26. Print.
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