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What Does it Really Mean to be Pro-GMO?

November 20, 2014
It has been said that if you're Pro-GMO, or for Genetically Modified Organisms, then you must oppose the the Anti-GMO movement.   However, is this the true meaning behind being Pro-GMO?  Richard Green, guest blogger for the Skepti-Forum, doesn't think so.  In his blog, What is Pro-GMO?, Green suggests that being Pro-GMO means that you're anti-GMO misinformation.
"What is Pro-GMO? Is it the opposite of Anti-GMO?

"We humans like to split things into black and white opposing camps but that mold doesn't fit well on the GMO debate. The anti-GMO folks are a movement out to promote their agenda. They have successfully put initiatives on the ballot in multiple U.S. states. Lets not forget about the March Against Monsanto, which has international participation. Shouldn't the Pro side be a counter movement? Where are the cheerleaders promoting more GMOs?   I am speaking to large-scale efforts."

Green goes on to argue that genetic engineering (GE) is just another tool in the tool chest.  It's a form of crop technology that has promising benefits, yet anti-GMO activists continue to spread misinformation around it.

Green then discusses that if there is no pro-GMO movement then what is the response to the anti-GMO movement?
"Education on biotechnology is the response used to address those who are against agricultural bioengineering. When you look at websites from scientists like Kevin Folta’s Illumination blog and the Biofortified blog they are writing to correct misinformation. The same is true for sites run by laypeople such as the Food Farm and Discussion Lab or here on the Skepti-Forum blog. Even on an industry initiated site like GMO Answers the aim is to educate.

"While there is the occasional mention of the potential of GE, the overwhelming focus is on education and the correction of misinformation coming from anti-GMO advocates. As the title of Dr. Folta’s blog suggests, the counter to the fear and misinformation is to send in some light to dispel the darkness of misconceptions."

Green concludes with the notion that he doesn't really care what technology is used to make pharmaceutical drugs or plant varieties. He is anti-GMO misinformation, but to frame it in a more positive way, he is pro-BioEngineering Education (pro-BEE).

We encourage you to read Richard Green's blogpost in its entirety.