After reviewing this article about The Psychology Of Why So Many People Are Anti-GMO, I had to share my thoughts. The more I research this topic and learn about it, the more my opinion evolves. I am a firm believer in the scientific method, scientific innovation, and progress. I consider myself a scientist, though a social one (I have mad skills in calculus and physics that got used a bit in my career as an architect, but I digress...) But we should not take accept all scientific discoveries as positive steps. What good is a boost in nutritional value if the chemicals used to grow the food cause cancer? I evaluate what I put in, on, and near my body with precaution, weighing the benefits and detriments. However, the precautionary principle is a great guideline, but lacks the specificity needed to make it practicable in all cases. I would like us to incentive innovation AND exercise precaution. Our current challenge is that the U.S. allows products to enter our markets, then wait until massive scale negative externalities occur to research the products' effects. Just look at trans fats (hydrogenated oils) which were under FDA review earlier this year for removal from the market (anyone have an update?). It took 40 years and a realization that the body can't break down the substance, clogging arteries and propelling heart disease to the #1 spot for killer of Americans, for the research and critical analysis to occur. When we think of products as part of a system or life-cycle, we continuously test and improve not only their economic value, but health and environmental safety, to both enhance user value and minimize externalities. Just because you can, doesn't mean that you should. And the reactionary approach puts too many lives and ecosystems at risk. We have to find balance between precaution and reaction in order to continue to innovate and protect the health and well-being of all life and ecosystems in our tiny, tiny world.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Joe!