ABSTRACT

It is possible to divide those involved in the GM debate into very broad categories: politicians, scientists, journalists, corporations, protestors, NGOs, the public. Yet, although this is useful, it brings its own dangers. For both sides in the debate – at its most simplistic – it is enough just to label people in this way for their views to appear compromised or invalid. Thus for the anti-GM lobby, 'biotech companies' and sometimes even 'scientists' become terms of derision; on the proGM side the negative terms are 'protestors' and 'campaigners'. For the university scientists whose views were reported at the end of the last chapter, to be a member of 'the public' is to be ignorant and irrational, while the labels 'politicians' and 'journalists' were for them synonymous with duplicity and smooth-talking opportunism – in contrast to their own stolid inarticulate honesty.