Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

I hate Monsanto, so “insert Chemical and Scientific name here” is Evil.

While doing research online about the safety of GMO, genetically modified organisms, I usually end up in some weird places of the internet. To generalise all the similarities, the posts starts with some lab rat with big tumours, a diagram of needles,  few pages of data with no sources, then usually end in conclusion with anti big pharmaceutical , anti big agriculture arguments.


What science? Thats a just a meme for all I can see.  Sprague-Dawley rat has a two year life span and has a very high rate of cancer. The controversial Séralini study that took these pictures, used a tiny sample size of 10 rats instead of a recommended 65 rats, the paper was retracted in November 2013.


Similar studies done properly shows otherwise. “The Japanese Department of Environmental Health and Toxicology released a 52-week feeding study of GM soybeans in 2007, finding “no apparent adverse effect in rats…..University of Nottingham School of Biosciences released a review…. multi-generational studies… of GM foods, concluding there is no evidence of health hazards.”


There seems to be some kind of misconception that Monsanto’s financial and legal practices is somehow undermining the safety of our food. Its irrelevant but all I see these days are Monsanto equals GMO.


Lets take a look at a few generalised arguments.

“Monsanto patents everything, its ridiculous! Its a monopoly!” Really? Monsanto has every right to protect its intellectual properties, if they have the money and time to patent something as simple as a pink rose, its their problem.  Again, that has nothing to do with science.


“Monsanto is a capitalist monopolist greedy corporation that nobody should trust!” Again I see no problem with capitalism and if their lawful practice of its right is somehow offending you, try Cuba?  How did something thats suppose to be about science always end up with political and social problem? I do not know. People seem to hate anyone who makes money these days.

Persuasive technique overload. Appealing to emotion, who doesn’t love their children? A picture of a crying child and GMO labelling all over the place is suppose to mean something scientific?


Hey, wheat is a GMO, it can not exist in the wild because it can not disperse its seed. It has been spliced by farmers for thousands of years with different species , wheats are not what they were when human first found it, no problem with that it seems.


GM is one, if not the only technology that is under constant testing, each year, about a hundred million dollars worth of study and testing is done globally. No other technology is tested nearly as intense and so far so good. Yet here we go again, another site with debunked / retracted paper with no evidence and appealing to emotion, rhetorical questions, anecdote, case study, shocking imaginary, exaggeration and play on guilt and clear bias.


The list goes on, what happened to the actual science?




Jon Entine. 2016. Does the Seralini Corn Study Fiasco Mark a Turning Point in the Debate Over GM Food?. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 28 April 2016]. 2016. Nestlé Removes GMO Ingredients from Baby Foods in South Africa. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 28 April 2016]. 2016. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 28 April 2016].











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This entry was posted on April 29, 2016 by in Burwood - Friday 10am and tagged .

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