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Misinformation on GMOs

Many of the sources used for this paper were represented as legitimate sources, with reputable data. However, finding such data is not as simple as one would think. The media also misrepresents facts, which can damage the knowledge of hundreds of thousands, if not entire societies. Newspaper articles and websites state statistics without citations while some studies are done in a slanted way. One of the major issues in the area of biotechnology is reliability of statistics, studies, and nonbiased objective material.

For example, an independent film was made by Jeremy Seifert called GMO OMG. The website for this film rattles off countless statistics, while failing to give any proof or citations for any of their statements. Worse yet, other websites and articles cite this film as a valid source of information, such as Many people will watch this film and blindly believe what they are watching, but this movie will not portray both sides of the story. It is valuable to peer-review scientific subjects and advances, and to consider the consequences. However, this can only be done when the reviewer does not have a preconceived bias.

GMO OMG may not convince everyone, but more people are trusting of their local newspapers. Yet even local newspapers can misrepresent data or not consider all effectors on a specific topic or trend. The headline of a local newspaper read, “Some Crops Migrate North with Warmer Temperatures.” Yet, the before and after map that they refer to on their front page reveals that crops have not only migrated north, but west, south, and east as well. The entirety of the article credits this to warming of temperatures. However, they only provide a few examples of specific locations, and even then, they fail to mention if climate has varied as such before. They also do not account for other factors that could increase crop survival. Technology has greatly advanced in the past century, as well as other agricultural techniques and irrigation methods such as spray and drip irrigation. Frost protection techniques have also been developed, such as the ones discussed by Snyder in “Frost Protection: fundamentals, practice, and economics.” Genetically modified crops could also allow crops to survive in places that other pests or factors may not have allowed them to grow before.

Poor science and citations is not limited to local newspapers or propaganda, but it has also occurred within peer-reviewed science. “A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health,” is a prime example. They claim that “our analysis clearly reveals for the 3 GMOs new side effects linked with GM maize consumption,” yet there were many things that went unexplained in this publication. They claim that GM corn caused tumors in rats, however, they chose a breed of rats, Sprague-Dawley rats, that are notorious for having tumors. In one study, the rats were allowed to live their life with standard laboratory rat feed, and they still experienced a 57% tumor incidence rate (Davis 1955). This alone poses the question of why they selected these rats as their test subjects, however, that is not explained in the paper. Greenpeace also funded the paper, which is openly anti-GMO. This provides a conflict of interests.

Across the spectrum, finding valid sources about genetically modified organisms proves to be a challenge. It causes one to be truly skeptical about everything that one reads. People, especially those in scientific fields, need to become fully aware of what consists of a valid, sound study, or what is required of data to be acceptable.




GMO OMG. (n.d.).     GMO OMG. Retrieved September 25, 2013, from

Genetic Engineering | Greenpeace International. (n.d.). Greenpeace  | Greenpeace. Retrieved September 24, 2013, from

Davis, R., Stevenson, G., & Busch, K. (1956). Tumor Incidence in Normal Sprague-Dawley Female Rats. American Association for Cancer Research, 16, 194-197. Retrieved September 24, 2013, from

Irrigation: Irrigation techniques, USGS Water-Science School. (n.d.). USGS Georgia Water Science Center - Home page. Retrieved September 24, 2013, from

Snyder, R. L., & Abreu, J. P. (2005). Frost protection: fundamentals, practice and economics. Rome: FAO.

de Vendomois, J. S., Roullier, F., Cellier, D., & Seralini, G. (2009). A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health. International journal of biological sciences, 5(7), 706-726.

Weise, E. (2013, September 18). Some Crops Migrate North with Warmer Temperatures. USA Today, p. 11A.


A List of Currently Used Agricultural GMOs