Overtone on Genetically Modified (GM) foods but undertone is getting to the point on talking points via rhetorical and narrative drives.
Last month, the New York Times put its front-page spotlight on a lengthy feature by Amy Harmon — a story that followed an orange grower’s quest to make the fruit disease-resistant through genetic engineering. The piece occasioned plenty of debate. But one tweet from Michael Pollan, in particular, triggered a cascade of puzzlement, debate, and anger.
Here’s what Pollan said about Harmon’s piece:
The barrage of angry responses was immediate and sustained, mostly focusing on the part about “industry talking points.” What did Pollan mean by that? Was he simply knocking the story because it showed genetic modification in a positive light? Some felt he was calling Harmon, a widely admired feature writer who has won two Pulitzers, a shill. Many science writers leapt to Harmon’s defense.
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