Genetic Modification: Polarizing the population [infographic]

By Matthew Hardcastle and Poncie Rutsch
BU News Service

With all the angry voices chiming in on genetically modified foods, it can be really hard to figure out where the basic science stands. Lately, the conversation has been getting particularly ugly. People who support genetically modifying their foods (shortened to GMOs for genetically modified organisms) have started to proclaim that without genetic modification, people in the world will always be starving — that is, there is no other way to feed a growing population. Meanwhile, people who reject GMOs start to sound very similar to people suffering from climate denial — limited arguments based on poorly researched science.

We decided to put together a sort of GMO cheat sheet: what you need to know, some basic facts, and a few questions before you lose friends over this polarizing argument. We tried debating, but it felt mean and didn’t represent the amazing level of complexity that surrounds this issue. For this readon, there are occasions when the two paths overlap. In no way is this the end of the argument, but instead of reading another op-ed, why not get to the basics?

Reporting IN FAVOR OF GENETIC MODIFICATION is Matthew Hardcastle. His points follow the blue path.

Reporting LESS FAVORABLY ON GENETIC MODIFICATION is Poncie Rutsch. Her points follow the green path.




clickable map of world hunger.

A few more basics on what world hunger is and how it intersects with malnutrition.

Reporter Sharon Schmickle travels to Tanzania to explore GMO resistance through a Pulitzer grant.