Agricultural GMOs and their associated pesticides: misinformation, science, and evidence

By Michael N. Antoniou, Claire Robinson, Irina Castro & Angelika Hilbeck
Published in: Environmental Sciences Europe volume 35, Article number: 76 (2023)


Misinformation has always existed, but it became a major preoccupation during the COVID-19 pandemic due to its ability to affect public health choices, decisions, and policy. In their article, “Misinformation in the media: Global coverage of GMOs 2019–2021” (GM Crops & Food, 17 Nov 2022), Mark Lynas et al. characterise critics of agricultural genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their associated pesticides as purveyors of “misinformation”. They draw an equivalence between critics of agricultural GMOs and people who make false claims about climate change, COVID-19, and vaccines. We examined their main claims on these GMOs—for example, that there is a scientific consensus that they are safe for health and the environment—in the light of the scientific evidence and public discussion on this topic. We found that their claims are biased and misleading and ignore or omit crucial evidence. We conclude that based on the evidence provided, Lynas et al. article can itself be classed as misinformation and could therefore mislead the general public as well as the scientific community.


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