A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

GM - a more nuanced debate.....

The still relatively new 'Life' Section of The Guardian (out each Thursday) continues to provide far more nuanced coverage of environmental issues than the rest of the Groaniad. In the latter (especially, of course, in the notorious 'Society' Section, out on Wednesdays), the idea of 'balance' appears to consist of having page after page of unmitigated and uncritical environmentalist 'propaganda' with an occasional 'letter to the editor' or comment putting entirely the opposite viewpoint.

In the 'Life' Section, by contrast, the nuancing of the debate is often found within a single article (although it remains less reliable in this respect on climate change). The approach is to be warmly welcomed, and it leads to far more rewarding comment and reading.

Here, for example, is today's interesting interview with Professor Chris Pollock, Director of the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Aberystwyth, on the GM debate in the UK: 'Why it's time for GM Britain' ('Life' Section, The Guardian, February 26).

I agree with Pollock, who is "keen to move on, to think about other issues of import to the British countryside other than just GM crops." If only! And, if you think it's bad in the UK, then just try the EU: 'Brussels backs Berlin crop plan' (EUPolitix.com, February 25).

Philip, bored by a debate that has long passed its sell-by-date. A bit like myself really.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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