Thursday, February 18, 2016

Journal 4 Scott Price

I found GMO OMG to be an informative, but intentionally misleading and biased documentary. From the very start of the film, it is obvious that the narrator believes that natural food is better than the genetically modified food. Opening the film with a poem about the purity of nature immediately made me realize what the narrator's position on GMO's would be. When the film illustrates the modifying of food, it shows an info-graphic that makes the science behind GMO's sound like science fiction jargon. This scene in particular bothered me, because it represents an anti-intellectual idea; that science and technology are lesser schools of reasoning to feeling and emotional reaction. GMO's are frequently represented as a syringe being injected into vegetables, often with a dark cloud appearing over the food. The film also jumps to conclusions on what food is considered a GMO. In one scene, the narrator catches a fish in a forest pond. The author claims that because the fish may have eaten genetically modified fish food, it is also a genetically modified organism. This is not a very sound argument, and I do not think that GMO's actually permeate the food chain as much as the narrator seems to think.
Is this corn a GMO or organic?

The film also seems to discard the scientific studies that have been done on GMO's in favor of on the ground research. There is nothing wrong with this method, but I believe that the narrator goes about it the wrong way. The author only spoke with a single scientist that had done research on GMO's, and he admits that that scientist's work was heavily criticized by others in his field. Instead of scientific evidence, the film takes the word of old fashioned farmers, Haitian peasants, and people who know nothing of GMO's over the evidence put forth by scientific studies. If the author wanted to make a truly unbiased and informational  documentary, he should have taken a closer look at the side that he was arguing against.

I feel that this documentary is a good introduction to GMO's for someone who has no knowledge on the topic, but it should be taken with a grain of salt. The film is eager to tell what GMO's are, and what risks they might possibly pose, without bogging the audience down with all of the needless scientific mumbo-jumbo, like evidence. I would not recommend this film to someone who wants an unbiased depiction of GMO's, but for anyone who only wants their suspicions to be affirmed, such as the creator of the documentary, this film is a perfect match.


  1. Something that I neglected to mention in my review: I do not think that GMO's are proven to be safe, or that the author is wrong on all accounts, I just do not agree with the method that the film used to make its argument.

  2. Scott, I wish you'd explain what you mean by bias? Having an opinion or viewpoint against any issue does not mean bias. Bias means you intentionally are not fair and do not give room for different sides of the story and different sources. I actually thought this filmaker, although obviously non-GMO, was pretty fair about the way he asked good questions about the issue, and he did not claim that GMOs are for sure harmful. He brought up possible dangers and concerns, with key word being possible. You can make an argument for the film slanting the sources and information to its own thesis, for sure, but we have to be careful about what we look for and how we define bias.


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