April 17, 2018

18/04/2018: Need for busting myths and half-truths – Cost of "Anti-industry" propaganda

by Raghavan ‘Ragha’ Sampathkumar

Continuing from my last column, let me explain the costs of negative propaganda that is spread by people and organisations with vested interests.

Diversity in this world is the primary reason for the very existence of the human species. Diversity in culture, social norms, rules, language, food, culinary preferences, crops grown and ideologies. Here ideologies are critical, and one must understand the differences in perspectives that form belief systems in every culture and race. Asian cultures are typically hierarchical and bound by strong social norms. Often individual choices and preferences are overruled by societal expectations or norms. But this is not the case of Western cultures. All these factors influence how people perceive and respond to information.

Of late, we have seen many ideologies are borrowed as such from Western countries, which are nowhere close to the realities – social, economical, cultural, and political – in Asia.

One of such borrowed ideology is about “Utopian green” agriculture wherein people want to take precautionary (often negative and time-consuming) perspective towards any new technology but expect agriculture to continue to feed the growing population with affordable, safe and nutritious food.

How is it possible?
Any technology, be it a drug, a trait, or a chemical, will have its own advantages and disadvantages as well as risks and benefits. Risks are to be weighed against the benefits and that must be the main objective while taking a neutral and balanced stand on assessing any new innovation. However, it does not happen this way in the current world particularly after the explosion of social media.

Governments and policy makers are always watchful and most sensitive about public sentiments on any issues. For example, privacy on social media became an important concern for everyone and Governments are scrambling to act swiftly. Ever increasing clamour and need for sensational news are actually impacting the confidence that public have on the food industry. This is not to say no one is doing anything wrong and everything is correct.

Social media is an effective medium to communicate and connect with the public. But, with unfounded claims against the food industry, from red meat consumption, chemical residues, labour and welfare issues to environmental stewardship practices in the food value chain, general public are being influenced heavily.

Read the full article, HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

For additional daily news from milling around the world: global-milling.com

No comments:

Post a Comment

See our data and privacy policy Click here