Decades of unscientifically proven facts on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) issued by green pressure groups and global anti-GMO organisations – have generally created a negative world view of one of science’s most advanced technology.
How such campaigns and bad press affect the adoption of GMOs in countries like Pakistan and India is a classic example.
Despite development of the National Bio-safety guidelines, Pakistan has been very slow in adopting the transgenic varieties of Bt cotton and Bt corn – largely due to the negative malicious campaigns pointed against GMOs and the biased false public opinion that has been churned.
Furthermore, little interaction between researchers, media and civil society has not helped to counter the continuous onslaught of bad press directed against GMO technology.
It has been very common that the research institutions rarely reach out to the media even when they have some remarkable achievement in research and development.
At times, when anti-GMO groups spin out stories about the so-called hazardous effects of the GMOs, no biotechnologist or any R&D organisation comes forward for rebuttal or clarification.
Recently, I along with and two fellow journalists from Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore got an opportunity to attend a short course in Bandar Sunway, Malaysia.