Yesterday’s New York Times carried an excellent article about the fuss in Europe over genetically modified (GM) corn. Europe has managed to stave off the introduction of GM crops but is under huge pressure to accept them from the World Trade Organization and the U.S. The argument: Because GM crops are safe for people and the environment (a scientific issue), trade rules must apply. But, as the article quotes Benedikt Haerlin of Save Our Seeds, “Science is being utterly abused by all sides for nonscientific purposes…It would be helpful if all sides could be frank about their social, political, and economic agendas.” This precise point is the theme of my book Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism (UC Press, 2004), which despite its title is about the politics of food safety and biotechnology. Its conclusion: even if GM foods are safe, they are not necessarily acceptable.
Next public appearance
This is the rescheduling of the lecture I was supposed to give on October 10. The taxi driver went through red light at entrance to the Pulaski, was pulled over and found to be driving without a license. We never made it. The lecture is on food politics. It starts at 6:00. Free and open to the public. The Newark Museum is at 49 Washington Street. This time, I’ll take the PATH.