BioScience Trends. 2015;9(2):134-137. (DOI: 10.5582/ bst.2015.01047)
Retraction of a study on genetically modified corn: Expert investigations should speak louder during controversies over safety.
Xia JF, Song PP, Xu LZ, Tang W
Over the past few years, genetically modified organisms (GMO) have gradually become more familiar after numerous reports of problems with GMO safety, such as genetically modified (GM) potatoes disrupting immunity, GM corn inducing tumors, and GM rice being fed to unwitting Chinese children. Every time, these reports cause panic among the population and lead to objections to GMO in various fora. After each incident, the scientific community has delivered its academic appraisal and refuted rumors through slow and cautious investigations and evaluations. Unfortunately, during each event media outlets quickly scare the public about food safety and ignore the ensuing comments from scientists. Although scientists have investigated each GMO crisis and reached scientific and rational conclusions, they have less ability to disseminate information than the media, so the public is not promptly informed of their rational and objective viewpoints as experts. Thus, scientists need greater ability to disseminate information from scientific investigations and evaluations in order to correct the intemperate reporting by attention-seeking media.