Saturday, December 4, 2010

How irrational thinking is harmful to our future

OTTAWA, December 1, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canadians enjoy one of the safest, most abundant and most affordable food supplies in the world and yet farmers are constantly forced to defend the choices they make to deliver these benefits.

Michael Specter, a staff writer at The New Yorker, will explore the ways irrational thinking about scientific advancements like plant biotechnology may present unique concerns to the world.

"This is the greatest time there has ever been on this planet, by any measure that you wish to choose," Specter says. "And yet the chilling effect caused by denying the scientific evidence on a whole range of topics, including genetically modified foods, may actually prevent useful science from coming to fruition."

Specter has been a writer for the New Yorker for more than a decade, where he writes about science and politics. His new book, Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet and Threatens Our Lives, dives into the complex science bias and critical issues in making the right choices for our future.

"Plant biotechnology benefits Canadian farmers by offering them a tool that can help increase yields and enhances on-farm sustainability by giving farmers the option to reduce or eliminate tilling, which improves soil quality and reduces erosion," said Trish Jordan, president of the Council for Biotechnology Information, which sponsored Specter's lecture. "It's absolutely imperative that when it comes down to making choices about how we're going to feed the world and protect the environment that facts - not urban myths or manufactured worries - are what we base our decisions on."

GrowCanada(R) is a partnership of agriculture's most influential associations that works together to ensure Canada is a world leader in providing new products and solutions for agricultural, nutritional, health, energy and environmental challenges in Canada and around the world. The annual GrowCanada(R) conference celebrates the role of agriculture and all that agriculture does to better the lives of Canadians.