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Biotechnology

Russia wants you to hate GMOs

February 28, 2018

Misinformation attacks like those aimed at the US presidential race may be scaring people about genetic modification.

The news: Researchers from Iowa State University found that RT and Sputnik, two state-funded Russian news sites, were full of GMO-related articles—as many as Huffington Post, Fox News, CNN, Breitbart News, and MSNBC combined.

Throwing biotech shade: Most of the articles included “negative or distasteful” information about GMOs, according to the Des Moines Register. Others peddled fake conspiracy theories. One read: “GMO mosquitoes could be the cause of Zika outbreak, critics say.” 

Backstory: Russia has banned GMOs. According to RT (so consume with salt), Russia wants to be the leading exporter of organic food.

Seeds of doubt: GMOs are already divisive. To the Iowa State team, the work is proof that Russia is targeting fake news at the topic. But as Gizmodo notes, American anti-GMO outfits says the scientists are using research to silence credible media concerns. Don’t know who to believe? That’s kinda the point.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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