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March 6th, 2017 / Life Sciences, Society and Policy

Most life scientists have relentlessly recommended any evaluative approach of agri-food products to be based on examination of the phenotype, i.e. the actual characteristics of the food, feed and fiber varieties: the effects of any new cultivar (or micro-organism, animal) on our health are not dependent on the process(es), the techniques used to obtain it.

The so-called “genetically modified organisms” (“GMOs”), on the other hand, are commonly framed as a group with special properties – most frequently seen as dubious, or even harmful.

Some social scientists still believe that considering the process is a correct backgroundfor science-based understanding and regulation. To show that such an approach isutterly wrong, and to invite scientists, teachers and science communicators to explain this mistake to students, policy-makers and the public at large, we imagined a dialogue between a social scientist, who has a positive opin ion abo ut a certain weight that a process-based orientation should have in the risk assessment, and a few experts who offer plenty of arguments against that view. The discussion focuses on new food safety. See more