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The worst PR strategy ever?
by Seth Teter
The customer might not always be right. But the customer is effectively right. In other words, what you’re offering has no value if people aren’t buying it.
Mark Lynas, an environmentalist and GMO advocate, laid out a compelling case for better appreciating consumer concerns during his recent talk at the Center for Food Integrity summit where he called efforts to block GMO labeling “the worst PR strategy ever.”
“People don’t want to be taken for fools, and don’t want to be denied knowledge that other people tell them is important, particularly when it comes to something as emotive as what you eat,” he said.
Indeed, Lynas said there’s no scientific reason for labeling GMOs. But is science really what this debate is about? What most consumers really want, according to Lynas, is transparency.
“Transparency is the only way to rebuild trust. Trust cannot be bought via PR campaigns; trust can only be earned. The best way to earn trust is through full transparency, and – this point is crucial – this transparency cannot only be on terms that you set yourself.”
So without trust, what value will science have?
Read more of Lynas' talk here.
Seth Teter is the assistant editor of Buckeye Farm News.