“Food Evolution” a look at food misinformation

Photo Credit: Food Evolution

In the midst of a polarized and passionate debate, Food Evolution directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy examines the controversies surrounding genetically modified foods. This documentary conveys a scientific story of food by taking a personal look at the successes, and the damaging consequences of the failure to establish useful food technology. From Hawaiian papaya, Ugandan banana, Iowan corn and the people that need them, this film uses powerful imagery that captures the frustrations of scientific solutions stalled by activist fear mongering.

In 2016 a Pew Research poll analyzed the public beliefs on genetic engineering, genetically modified (GM) technology or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). The results showed much of the public is fearful and suspicious of genetically modified foods. However, scientists overwhelmingly view the technology as safe and effective for feeding our growing population.

This division of beliefs may be due to the popular non-scientific media that disregards science to instill a popular and profitable myth. Promoting high-priced, lifestyle-based food products, and denouncing large corporations, the strong anti-GMO faction creates colorful statements and imagery around the ‘science’ of genetic engineering.

Unfortunately, many opposed to GM technology are only experts at producing media targeted to halt the favorable applications of useful GM technologies.This type of pseudoscience is designed to shock and scare, at the expense of science.

While the passionate advocates against GMOs in the film are concerned with the stewardship of safe, nutritious food, their differing views over the truth of GMOs have pit scientists and food bloggers against each other, making the subject of food a new social movement.

Throughout Food Evolution, scientists including Drs. Alison Van Eenennaam, Dennis Gonsalves, Pamela Ronald and Leena Tripathi, along with former anti-biotech activist and author Mark Lynas, take the viewer through their experience with the science of GM technology and their interactions with the public and farmers.

Over the past few decades, GM products intended to serve humanity dwindled in laboratories because of affluent-nation fears, and approval of pseudoscience legislation have restricted choices for farmers. The allure of Food Evolution is that it highlights a time when public support for GM is low, but may begin to shift as science communication becomes a more prominent message in mainstream media.


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