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Book Review/Science in the Media

Redefining “Natural” in Agriculture

  • Tony Trewavas
  • Published: August 19, 2008
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060199

Reader Comments (2)

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Would that policy should meet rational inquiry...

Posted by plosbiology on 07 May 2009 at 22:26 GMT

Author: Thomas Rutkowski
Position: Assistant Professor
Institution: University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
E-mail: thomas-rutkowski@uiowa.edu
Submitted Date: August 18, 2008
Published Date: August 22, 2008
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

"...when dealing with detailed technical matters of science or medicine or any subject that requires enormous qualifications and experience, the notion that all opinions have equal validity is simply downright wrong."

Amen! We as scientists are called "elitists" when we demand that "intelligent design" be properly relegated to philosophy classes, or "cold-hearted" when we insist that vaccines have not been associated with autism. Dr. Trewavas is right on the money; we cannot feed a growing world without increasing yield, and we cannot mitigate global warming with current agricultural practices. Unfortunately, until the public is presented science in a format other than the "all opinions are equally valid" position of the media, I fear decisions on agriculture, climate, and on and on will be made by ideology rather than rational inquiry.

I forwarded this article to a sister-in-law who believes that "organic" is healthier a priori because plants are good and chemicals are bad. I, who use a plant-derived compound to elicit massive death in cultured cells, only hope that she reads it.

No competing interests declared.