By: Lori Hoffman
“Food Evolution” is a documentary From Academy Award®-nominated director Scott Hamilton Kennedy (THE GARDEN, FAME HIGH, OT: OUR TOWN) and narrated by Neil DeGrasse Tyson showing both sides of the GMO debate around the world. The film portrays the idea that people develop beliefs based on their gut and due to this, non-GMO advocates are challenging empirical scientific evidence.
When results are repeated and found to be true — that is objective, scientific truth. That is the kind of truth people should base legislation on. If you start basing laws that are not anchored in objective truths, it is the beginning of the end of an informed democracy. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Advocates rely on a seemingly qualified spokesman who is often mistaken for a doctor as well as a biased and now discredited experiment exposing rats that were likely to develop tumors no matter what to GMOs. Other advocate movements focus on mothers who refuse to expose their children to GMOs, saying that foods from Mother Nature are the best and only foods to feed their children. Scientists have conducted measurable, repeatable experiments concluding that GMOs do not harm humans and are less toxic for the environment than pesticides required to grow non-GMO food. Scientists in Hawaii saved rainbow papaya from disease by developing a genetically engineered papaya that is resistant to the disease. Due to developments like this and the development of drought resistant crops not yet released, many farmers side with scientists.
What are low income families from places like Compton or food insecure places like India and Uganda supposed to do when faced with the option of organic products? In researching this film, I started to feel that confusing, un-scientific, fear-mongering messaging that privileges organic products over conventional as an inherently safer or healthier choice doesn’t serve any family seeking to make good choices about food. Director Scott Hamilton Kennedy
A major concern is the fact that many countries in Africa have passed legislation banning GMOs, when GMOs would solve the problem of diseased banana trees that many people rely on for sustenance. Ultimately both sides are seeking the same result – how to feed the world’s growing population safely.