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“Independent Science”- Code Name for Genetic Engineering?

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The Prying Mantis

By Elizabeth Henderson

At one of the public brainstorming sessions for the NY Organic Action Plan, an organic farmer made an impassioned plea for support for “independent science” and told us that with 8.5 billion mouths to feed by 2050, we will need genetic engineering to prevent starvation.

I would like to examine these words carefully to decipher what they mean, how those words are used by this farmer and by others, and suggest what NOFA’s response should be as an organization promoting local organic farming and food.

What is the meaning of independent science? As policy co-chair for the NOFA-NY Board, I have been an active participant in the coalition that is campaigning to pass GMO labeling legislation for NYS. In this capacity, I have spoken at public meetings, to the press and on radio interviews.  A question that I have heard from proponents of biotechnology is “why do…

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