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March 26, 2000


negative labelling


AgBioView - http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com


In my opinion, part of the problem that the pro-GMO advocates (like
me) have is the negative buzz words that the anti-lobby have
created and set in the public mind against GMOs. Such words as
'FrankenFoods', 'genetic pollution' and so on. Words like these, as
the anti-GMO protestors know full well, is pure propaganda that
works brilliantly. The pro-lobby has been slow to respond likewise.

Over the years we have gone from 'genetic engineering' to 'genetic
manipulation' to 'genetic modification'. We should now start to be
more positive and call it 'genetic improvement'. Other terms we
might start to use include 'genetic protection' of crops, 'genetically
pesticide-free'. We might also take a leaf from the other side's book
and use 'organic poisons', 'organic destruction' of the rainforests,
'organic food poisoning' etc. It might sound a bit Goebbelian, but
we need to win the war of words, as well as the science war, if the
public are to be persuaded to accept GMOs.

Anyone else got any ideas for buzz words?
With best regards,

John Mottley,
University of East London.
(The trick is to keep breathing)