How do we cope with a crisis of public trust in science? This is the question at the heart of Food Evolution, Scott Hamilton Kennedy’s competent new documentary on the debate over the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food. Unobtrusively narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Evolution tracks the global fallout from Hawaii County’s 2013 ban on GM crops, and makes a convincing case that biotechnology has been a force for good in agriculture. But amid a relentless barrage of evidence, the film struggles to avoid a pedantic tone it acknowledges has done little to change public opinion. “We don’t make decisions based on facts, we make decisions based on our gut,” says journalist Tamar Hesper. What’s largely missing here is any attempt to appeal to this deeply human tendency.
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