Colleen Wood in Undark:
Almost 90 percent of scientists believe that genetically modified foods are entirely safe. Yet, just 37 percent of the general public think these foods are safe to eat. Why are so few on board with the scientific consensus? Are they just anti-science?
In “Glyphosate and the Swirl: An Agroindustrial Chemical on the Move,” medical anthropologist Vincanne Adams deciphers competing claims about the history and epidemiological impact of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, the powerful herbicide patented by the agrochemical giant Monsanto that is commonly used to grow genetically modified foods. Depending on where you look for evidence, glyphosate either poses no harm to humans or is the root cause of a public health crisis. In the process of analyzing the uncertainty about glyphosate’s safety, Adams leverages the debate to interrogate what scientific consensus even means as a concept.