2017-09-28

GMOs: The Biggest Mistake Scientists Made

 David Pinzon

As biologists, we failed to properly educate the public about genetically modified organisms. So when the seeds of doubt were introduced, they were more powerful than the strong scientific arguments that support GMOs. But what happens when sources outside of mainstream science are inaccurate, lacking complete knowledge or unbiased language? What happens when we hear someone we trust, like a famous sports or entertainment figure, say things like “the Earth is flat”? What happens when we don’t have enough basis to distinguish between real and false statements? It’s precisely these times when it’s most important to trust scientists and educators. 

Years ago, I had the honor of teaching hundreds of first-year biology university students when I was getting my Ph.D in plant biology at the University of Alberta, in Canada. They were eager to learn and put a lot of their trust in what I had to tell them, so I felt an enormous responsibility to teach them the most recent and best available science. 

But, naturally, my students sometimes doubted what they learned at school and, like many others, would consult additional sources to learn further.

Now, although a bit late, scientists are trying to educate people about the basic scientific concepts that will demystify many consumer concerns. Science supports GMOs from every angle. With a deeper scientific understanding, it becomes apparent that the creation of a GMO is a simple process.

With this understanding, you’ll have the ability to distinguish between GMO information that is accurate and inaccurate. 

Find an opportunity to learn about the science of modern agriculture. This will give your family the knowledge to make the most informed decisions, and much more. 

My love for education stems from my mother who is a school teacher. I hope teaching your kids to dig deeper and look beyond headlines helps them find the same love of learning. My mom’s experience helped me understand the importance education plays in the future of every kid, and more importantly, our society. That is quite a gift and an important one for each kid and community.

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