GM food is one of the most hotly debated results of modern technology today. Often, the resistance against it is characterised as a result of ignorance and superstition, with an assumption that increased awareness of the ‘facts’ will resolve the debate. In this thesis, I will counter this assumption:
Firstly, on the grounds that the ‘facts’ are pointing in different directions, and that this can be said to be the result of fundamentally different ways of looking at the problems involved.
Secondly, because the potential impact of GM food on society, the environment, human health and human well being is a complex issue, and inherent in all complex issues is uncertainty.
These assertions are based on an analysis of a broad selection of issues common in the GM food debate in terms of sources of uncertainty. These are classified in a recently developed taxonomy , which also forms the foundation for the analysis.
The focal point of this thesis is not to decide who is right or wrong, but rather to understand why there is disagreement in the first place. Thus, the debate is described in a fundamental sense, looking behind the ‘facts’.
This thesis is also an elaboration on the above-mentioned taxonomy of sources of uncertainty. Changes have been made to adjust for the particularities of the empirical setting, and each source of uncertainty is given a more extensive definition.
Keywords:Genetic modification, food, uncertainty, controversy, facts, values