Biotech Updates

Study on News Reports on Golden Rice Experiment

July 9, 2014

Scientists from University of Illinois and Temple University investigated the media frames and rhetorical devices in Chinese media that shaped the representation of genetically engineered rice, specifically golden rice. They analyzed the web news stories regarding the testing of efficacy of golden rice as source of Vitamin A in school children in Hunan, China that were published from August 30 to October 30, 2012. 

Results showed that although only one-third of the articles had negative tone towards golden rice, it was very evident that the use of metaphors and analogies elicit fear and concerns about GM crops. Conspiracy frames were identified in the articles, including the view that the West was using genetic engineering to establish global control over agriculture and that GM products were instruments for genocide. The pro-golden rice articles emphasized the scientific humanitarian progress, but it appears to be less attractive to the readers.