Author Michael Pollan Fills In the GMO, NYT Blanks

One of the lessons here is be careful what you tweet before unplugging for summer vacation.

On July 28, author Michael Pollan made a Twitter observation about a New York Times investigation into genetically modified oranges authored by Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Harmon; his tweet set the Internet on fire. Today, Columbia Journalism Review contributor Alexis Sobel Fitts shares the highlights of a much longer telephone conversation with Pollan.

The erudite CJR reader comments are already coming in. Pollan basically runs through the GMO industry “talking points” that he cryptically referred to in his original tweet. Starting with:

Talking Point 1 The idea that GM products have received extensive safety testing—including long-term feeding trials—is a common industry talking point. The truth is American regulators haven’t required any feeding trials; Europeans have, but they’re not long, only 90 days.

Here are the two phrases from Harmon’s piece that he’s talking about…

There are five talking points addressed in total. As Pollan smartly notes, Twitter can sometimes be to intelligent scientific debate what apples are to the subject of Harmon’s piece. Read the full CJR article here.

[Image courtesy @michaelpollan]