Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The problem with one of the sides in the GMO debate

Once upon a time, I researched genetic technology, and found myself very frustrated with the way nearly everyone discussed the issue. This, neatly captures what is wrong with the pro-biotech side. The blog post is a critique of an issue of an academic journal dedicated to a perennial complaint of the genetic engineers: "Why can't the public see the light of reason, and recognize that we are acting in the best interest." I was particularly struck by this paragraph:
Time and again, the authors in Biotechnology Journal divide the world into a drama with just two actors: Science and The Public. (One even makes an even more derisory distinction, suggesting that the debate is between "modernists" who believe in progress, and postmodernists who don't even believe in truth.) But there's a third player: Capital.
Of course, for every person who sees biotech policy (and technology policy in general) as a conflict between modernists and antimodernists, there is someone who views it as a conflict between evil capital and good nature. But the Salon piece does a good job with one reductionism.

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