I was lying on the floor, ordered to remove my shoes, and asked: “What do I think of when I hear the term, GMO.”
This was about 1995, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food – always a Ministry, stick with the gospel – had brought in some French marketing guru who apparently got famous selling coffee on the aroma, and he was now going to tell us how to sell genetically engineered foods.
We also got to sit behind one-way mirrors and watch people react to terms which, while voyeuristic, was completely dumb and cost taxpayers a few hundred thousand.
It was at that point I solidified my view of stop the bullshit, you wanna sell genetically engineered food, brag about it or go home.
Now, after a decade of disappointing results to reduce the number of people barfing from foodborne illness – nothing to do with GE foods — it’s time for fresh approaches.
Same as it ever was.
barfblog.com has no sponsors – government, industry or academic – so we’ll try a few things.
It won’t be polite.
People barfing and dying from a meal is unacceptable in a so-called advanced society.
And look for our new boy band (of writers) Food Safety Assholes.
My PhD is in food science, but it was really risk communication as related to food.
That was over 20 years ago.
Academics and consultants are still reinventing the wheel and still making a good buck at it.
Caitlin Dewey of The Washington Post reports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will fund a campaign to promote genetically modified organisms in food under a bipartisan agreement to keep the government funded through the end of September.
People don’t want to be educated, they want to be compelled, with decent stories.
More than 50 agriculture and food industry groups had signed on to an April 18 letter urging the funding to counter “a tremendous amount of misinformation about agricultural biotechnology in the public domain.”
As David Brooks of the N.Y Times wrote about Donald Trump, he’s a “political pond skater — one of those little creatures that flit across the surface, sort of fascinating to watch, but have little effect as they go.”
Same with all the GMO social actors in this 20-year-old fairytale.
Been there, done that. The ditch is more interesting than the road.
A comparative study of communication about food safety before, during, and after the “Mad Cow” crisis
The Oxford Handbook on the Science of Science Communication, Matteo Ferrari, 2017
The “mad cow’ saga provides useful insights into the complexities that surround public communication on food safety issues. The first part of the chapter describes the most important scientific characteristics of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and its human counterpart, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The second section offers an account of the unfolding of the public communication before, during, and after the BSE crisis, including the diverse positions adopted by different countries and the legal reforms enacted to improve risk communication. The final part provides an analysis of the key features of the mad cow crisis: the importance of trust and transparently, the uncertainties that can characterize scientific information, the effects of cognitive bias, and the role of cultural context. All these factors contributes to both the amplifying and downplaying-depending on the place and time- of the BSE risk in the public mind.