Effects of Media on Understanding of the GMO Concept





Effects of Media on Understanding of the GMO Concept

The modern citizen is constrained in the casting of informed decisions or votes because of his or her lack of knowledge. People are forced to depend on distorted and biased information from the media in turn transforming decision making to an undertaking characterized by high levels of risk and uncertainty. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) refers to a modern scientific technique of creating laboratory organisms through genetic engineering. It has been long argued that GMOs are not ethical or safe in relation to production and consumption and therefore there are various restrictions to sale of the organisms. The public bear concerns over GMOs, but scientists are of the opinion that the organisms possess no great risk to human life. In general, there is no specific consensus over the matter.  The media in its neutrality practice may support or discourage understanding of the GMO concept leading to further mixed reactions and confusion.

GMOs in the integration of genetic engineering generate social controversy through challenging of the natural way of production and breeding. Religious groups raise concern over the unorthodox form of production arguing that these foods may not maintain the kosher or halal criteria. A 2003 Embo report within the European market revealed that the public neither rejects nor accepts the new form of agricultural production. The media responsible for determining public perception may choose to omit or spin information in order to suit their marketing objectives. The information sector lacks private groups that analyze data from media houses. Lack of valuators to validate data gives media houses monopolistic positions in terms of information manipulation. Media houses continue to give information o0n the basis of audience preference, advertiser requirements and profit maximization as opposed to truth and integrity.

Genetic engineering has been newsworthy since its advent and the media has capitalized on its attributes to create a negative picture. It is a known fact that GMOs have the capacity to help meet the niche between the globe’s population and its food requirements. The media has not assisted the public with sufficient information over the GMO concept. Despite the potential benefits of the food resource, the media continues to paint half pictures as seen in the 1999 publicized article written by scientist Arpad Putszaj. The scholar argued that GMO grown potatoes fed to rats resulted in ill health in the rodents. The article was given immense press coverage adding on the public confusion over the matter. The consequence of the article was public European resistance against GMO products.

Corporate media has overstated the impacts of GMOs ion a negative view while understating the concept. It is documented that the bigger mass of the public locates its information concerning GMOs through Television and Newspaper platforms. The result effect is heightened risk over GMO products as seen in the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) “mad cow disease,” in Japan, Europe, and Canada. The press coverage over the matter resulted in a reduction in the demand for beef. The effect of media on the GMO concept has polarized individual and group views leading to unprecedented growth in the science. Media influence is not known to science only and its biased consequences continue to be a concern to the public and businesses. Media should disengage its coverage of GMOs on a short-term basis in order to allow the science to develop. Afterwards, media should engage in constructive debate over the products in order to heighten public understanding instead of polarized conclusions.

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