Friday, September 11, 2009

Interview with TIME's Brian Walsh

The author ( Brain Walsh) of the highly scrutinized TIME magazine article "Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food" was recently interviewed on the radio program Agritalk ( audio) . The host of the program expressed concern that many readers might have had difficulty recognizing that the TIME article was an opinion piece. Walsh provides clarification that the article was never intended to represent an evidence based balanced assessment of the food industry. Instead he maintains that the purpose was only to start a conversation about food, starting with an article written solely from his one-sided perspective and intentionally excluding evidence to the contrary. He does state that after looking at more evidence, he favors a more sustainable model that combines both 'industrial' biotech and organic practices. ( an idea that seems to be catching on- see this from Science and this from the Boston Globe). He stands firm in his views regarding the use of growth enhancing pharmaceuticals.

He does write a follow up piece in TIME highlighting the benefits of a type of biotech cotton currently in the pipeline. It seems he could have written more about the environmental benefits of already proven technologies like Bt and Roundup Ready biotech crops.

It appears ( at least for now) that the 'invisible green hand' in production agriculture will remain unseen by readers of TIME.

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