Well, it’s official. We’ve finally reach the point where people are getting their advice from celebrities rather than scientists on science and medical issues. It’s fine when a celebrity takes up a cause like Alzheimer’s Disease, works with the Alzheimer’s Association, and goes to the Hill to advocate funding. Michael J. Fox, Christopher Reeve, Elton John – all celebrities using their fame to advocate for research for cures and treatments.
But there’s a big difference between a celebrity working with a leading reputable organization to affect change, and a celebrity just spouting their thoughts on Facebook or Twitter with no input from the leading scientists or doctors on very complex issues
Last week, the Washington Post published a review of a new book by Paul A. Offit, “Bad Advice: Or Why Celebrities, Politicians, and Activists Aren’t Your Best Source of Health Information,” which takes a close look at the harmful implications of the emerging trend. Offit, if you’re unaware, is a leading expert on the safety and necessity of vaccines, so he knows what he’s talking about.
GMO Answers has been driving home the message of listening to actual experts and not celebrities for five years. Our entire campaign, in fact, is based on the idea that experts who actually grow and develop GMOs will answers any and all questions you have about GMOs. Using the book review of Dr. Offit’s book as an inspiration, we wrote a Medium blog post that highlights some of the pitfalls of listening to unqualified Hollywood celebrities instead of those who actually know the science around hot button issues, like Offit and vaccines.
Yet, many celebrities, including Kelly Clarkson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and more, irresponsibly use their platforms to make false statements about the safety and nutritional value of GMOs — a practice now being adopted by several food brands. For example, you can buy non-GMO grapefruit juice and non-GMO tomatoes at many grocery stores, despite the fact that a grapefruit doesn’t have a GMO counterpart, and there are no GMO tomatoes on the market. Some take it a step further — like Stonyfield, which ran an ad earlier this year featuring school-aged kids perpetuating GMO myths.
So if you have questions about GMOs, submit a question to GMO Answers or explore the website. Don’t just randomly listen to food and diet advice from a Hollywood celebrity. Get you information from people who know the issue best, the farmers who grow them, the scientists who develop them, and the dietitians who have been trained to look at the scientific literature to know that GMOs are safe to eat, and just as healthy and nutritious as any other food.