Andrew Porterfield | Genetic Literacy Project | March 19, 2019
The Politico news website is known for its political coverage in the United States, posting stories on a wide range of topics, mostly cataloguing the infighting in the nation’s capital.
But more recently, the site strayed into territory outside of its comfort zone, into science and the controversial issue of agricultural biotechnology — GMOs and the pesticides used by farmers, organic and conventional — and its ideological naiveté and lack of science expertise showed through, much to the embarrassment of the political news site.
The site’s graphics editor, Patterson Clark, who has no background as a working scientist or journalist writing about crop biotechnology, produced an infographic that illustrated how food has been genetically modified by corporations, and purported to offer a “deep dive” into gene editing — for as much $9,500! But the information they offered was poorly sourced and inaccurate. And when given the chance to address the actual science behind the issue of breeding, they declined.
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