Here’s the thing: It’s open season when it comes to production agriculture.
Every other day, it seems, another article is published condemning modern production agriculture, farmers and the food we produce.
I don’t know about you, but frankly, I’m getting pretty tired of it. Especially, when farmers work so hard to produce an abundant and, most importantly, safe food supply.
Despite that, open season continued with another recently published article – this time from The Atlantic – titled, “The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Food.”
Ugh. I didn’t even have to read author Ari LeVaux’s story to know we were in for it again. Just like Bryan Walsh’s TIME Magazine article – “Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food” – agriculture was in for another inaccurate, but very damaging, bashing.
Still, as we have in the past, members of the agriculture – and this time, also the scientific – community worked to set the record straight. One of the best examples of this is Bill Horan’s commentary, “An Antidote of Truth for The Atlantic’s Misinformation” featured on www.truthabouttrade.org.
Of course, the article referenced the gross misinformation in author Ari LeVaux’s story, but, more than that, it included examples of the ensuing backlash from the scientific and agriculture communities.
As it turns out, websites, blogs and publications across the U.S. quickly took aim at LeVaux and his inaccuracies and, well, scare tactics of citing cancer and diabetes as possible “side effects” of GMOs.
And, this time, there was a happy ending – LeVaux was forced to eat his words and own up to the shoddy reporting. LeVaux apologized for “many unfortunate errors” in the article and published a revised and toned-down version of the original article.
Unfortunately, the article was still published, and more misinformation about agriculture was spread. But, at least we as an industry were able to own our message and provide with author with the correct information – and, as it seems – a wealth of it.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is backlash at its best.