Neil DeGrasse Tyson Has Had It with GMO Paranoia

"It smacks of the fear factor that exists at every new, emergent science."

Aug 3 2014, 10:02pm

Helga Esteb/Shutterstock

Genetic engineering doomsaying and likely biotech paranoia generally are what's become the climate change denial of the political left. As with climate denial, fake skeptics keep [insert blank] panic stoked with psueodoscientific appeals that the average Facebook sharer is ill-equipped to/disinterested in dissecting for accuracy and levity. So the fear keeps burning, sometimes adopting an anti-corporate guise (when convenient), but mostly hewing to time-worn patterns of distrust in scientific thought shared across the political spectrum and across human history, at least since the Enlightenment or so. 

That, however, is just the opinion of some relatively anonymous editor. Fortunately, contemporary pop science's hero laureate, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, has harsh words of his own for GMO skeptics. "It smacks of the fear factor that exists at every new, emergent science," he says in a video unearthed by Mother Jones (via Gothamist), "when people don't fully understand it ... and therefor reject it. We have genetically modified every food, every vegetable and animal that exists since we cultivated them. It's called artificial selection ... And now we can do it in a lab and you're going to complain?!"

Of course, the segment of people who NDT is telling to "chill out" is way beyond that point, but for those so-far unfrothed and still able to listen and learn, there must still be hope.