Greenpeace is against GMOs, but some argue that it helped alleviate the hunger problem in developed countries through improved yields. Is advocating against genetically modified seeds anti-science? Is there a consensus in the academic community on the matter?

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    I'm not sure it is as simple as 'Greenpeace is against GMOs'? Ok the image in the article shows a flag which such unnuanced claim, but it's a flag, not much room there for a complete text. The title of the article is alreadydifferent and the rest can be interpreted as 'not against GMOs per se, but against the way it is applied in combination with pesticides and certain malpractices by industrial agricultures'
    – stijn
    Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 8:36
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    Many things we eat today were modified by cross breeding that is a form of genetic modification. The tomato is the best example I know of. there are many others that have taken decades to cross breed using nature but many see doing it with science as wrong. I would think if it could happen through nature what would be the harm? On the other hand some splicing shortcuts creating hybrid crops may have consequences we won’t know until it’s two late. I think that is the argument against the splicing method.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 21:32

2 Answers 2


If someone were to argue that GMOs do not exist or that some particular method which has been devised in a scientific manner to create GMO species does not exist or does not work, that would be arguing against the scientific method - which is one way to interpret "arguing against science".

If someone were to argue that use of GMOs leads to increased negative health outcomes, and makes this argument based on data gathered in a manner consistent with scientific method, this is not "arguing against science" - it is using science.

If someone were to argue that it is better to have some people get sick because of pesticide use so that other people don't starve to death - or the reverse - this is neither using science nor arguing against science. The same is true if someone argues that it is wrong to grant patents on particular genetic sequences. These are both examples of taking an ethical position, something upon which science is largely silent.


Greenpeace is clearly not anti-science; they are not opposed to scientific practices such as research and publishing. Their 2015 report on pesticides which includes over 150 reference citations, many of which refer to peer-reviewed scientific journals. Using references to scientific papers to construct an argument is the modus operandi of the scientist.

Disagreement among scientists doesn't mean anyone is anti-science. Scientists do not agree about everything all the time, but rather they build on shared research to create a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the world around us.

Being anti-science means having the belief that science cannot reliably provide the understanding that it claims to provide. You will know an anti-scientist not from their citations and research, but from the absence thereof.

  • So is GMOs bad (sorry for simplicity)? Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 7:17
  • @SergeyZolotarev the whole point here is there are way too much nuances to be able to say something simple as 'X is bad'
    – stijn
    Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 8:58

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