Fears about genetically modified foods are cultural not scientific


Many people strongly object to genetically modified plants, but foods like sweet potatoes and grapefruits are a reminder that that these concerns are cultural rather than based on science, says James Wong



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25 November 2020

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I HAVE always been fascinated by people’s cultural relationship with plants. You might assume understanding this is all about voyaging up the Amazon river to learn how indigenous peoples use traditional medicines, but, to me, the most interesting cultural beliefs lie much closer to home. Nowhere is this more the case than when it comes to the contentious issue of genetically modified crops. Yet it might surprise you to know that my concern is exclusively cultural, not scientific.

One of the most intriguing things about culture is that it is such an intrinsic part of how we …



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