Is Mark Bittman misinformed on GMOs?

An Excerpt by Jon Entine

It’s a challenge to name a more influential food writer than The New York Times‘ Mark Bittman—nor one less informed and more damaging to the public opinion on the issue of genetically modified crops and foods. Simply said, he is a scourge on science.

Those are strong words, and not written lightly. However, when a journalist writes for the world’s most influential newspaper, he/she has standards to uphold, not the least of which is to know the basic facts about the topic on which one writes. Bittman freely and often engages the debate over GMOs in food, from lobbying for government-mandated labeling to, most recently, attacking the biotechnology industry in a piece on the so-called Monsanto Protection Act (the debate about which the GLP deconstructed)…

FrankNBittman

Caption Contest! What is Frank whispering to Mark Bittman?

Like a climate-denying arch-conservative, Bittman hasn’t altered his views for years even as science has long since passed him by. As Keith Kloor, one of the world’s sharpest commentators on the politics of agricultural biotechnology journalism, recently noted in a response to Bittman’s latest, Bittman couches his views in reasonable-sounding verbiage that disguises the reality that his opinions are almost fact- and science-free…

Bittman and his ilk may score points at foodie dinner parties, but increasingly they are becoming the butt of jokes in science circles. Even worse, their shrill but influential voices are making it increasingly challenging for federal and state regulatory agencies to follow the science when it comes to promoting good nutrition and public health.

Read the entire article here: On GMOs, New York Times foodie Mark Bittman is a dark cloud in the brightening sky of reason – Genetic Literacy Project.

Pamela Ronald is Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis, where she studies the role that genes play in a plant’s response to its environment. Her research focuses on the genetics of rice. With her husband, she co-wrote Tomorrow's Table:organic farming, genetics and the future of food. She writes a blog of the same name.

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