Thursday, August 29, 2013

Food Blog Field Day

Topics that have thoroughly interested me since I began high school would fall in the category of genetically modified organism and the factory farming industry. One of the more recent laws that has been passed regarding that matter is a bill nicknamed the "Monsanto Protection Act," and the blogging world is having a field day with the topic.

I looked into three different blogs about this bill in order to better understand what exactly is going on. The first blog was relatively neutral partied blog that explains what exactly is so controversial about the bill. As this blog explained, the Monsanto Protection Act has not increased the divide between liberals and democrats, but actually brought the Tea Party and Environmentalist Parties together against the so-called "Frankenfood." There were several points brought up by the article that create concern. This bill was lumped under one big bill that, if left unresolved, would have "shut down the government." This section of the bill is actually really small, and it is believed that most of the politicians didn't know the section was included in such a broad piece of legislation. But how did it get thrown into such a large bill that the section was overlooked? The blog quotes one Tea Party Member, "[T]his all can be boiled down into a single, common phrase: a special interest loophole, and a doozy at that," writes Dustin Siggins, who blogs for Tea Party Patriots. "This is a situation in which a company is given the ability to ignore court orders, in what boils down to a deregulation scheme for a particular set of industries." The way the bill was passed was unethical in a political sense, and as such, many seek to have it repealed. 

Not only does the blog explain the controversy about the way in which the bill was passed, but also the power of the bill's content on the farming world. It explains how the people protesting the bill claim that it protects Monsanto from possible lawsuits for their products potential to become harmful. The article presents the other side of the argument, in that the bill is helpful to farmers who plant GMOs, as it protects their farms from being destroyed in case GMOs are found to be harmful. The article then includes the text of the Monsanto Protection Act, followed by the names and statements of some congressmen who are at fault for the bill.

Overall, this first article was very informative, neutral, and unbiased, as it portrayed both sides of the argument, in addition to the actual text of the controversial bill. The writing style was very accessible, as it was not based in lofty language that required deciphering; rather, a way of wording that was friendly and open, even to people who may know nothing of this bill at all. The blogging site itself seems to be an environmental one, but the other side of the argument was presented in a neutral fashion. Overall, a very good source of information.

The second blog I looked at was one that protested the Monsanto Protection ActThis blog primarily rallied around the idea that President Obama has betrayed the people he stands to serve by passing the Monsanto Protection Act. They offer multiple points of contention, claiming that Obama ignored hundreds of thousands of letters begging him not to sign this section into law, and therefore has a responsibility to his people to not only repeal the bill, but also to label GMO products in various types of food. There are multiple sources to an online petition to begin the mandating of labels for GMO products in addition to a petition to get Obama to repeal the Monsanto Protection Act. Simply put, the blog is very one-sided, uninformative, and rather unorganized. There’s a small snippet of text with the general theme of “Obama has betrayed us” which then leads into a petition or resource to make a change. The blog is very good at supplying options for making a change, and even prompts the readers with another pop-up petition as they open the blog. If I wanted my voice to be heard, this blog would definitely make me feel like my opinion was heard, but if my opinion was different, I wouldn’t like this blog very much at all. It is extremely one sided, and uses a lot of language that is borderline elitist, as if the public unanimously agrees that GMOs are bad and should be labeled. I definitely prefer the first blog to this one, as the first one was more neutral, informative, and organized.

The third was a libertarian political blog that not only supported the Monsanto Protection Act, but claimed that the negative effects of GMOs were part of a conspiracy theoryThis blog is more informative than the second one, but it’s tone is extremely condescending if a reader believes that GMOs are in fact harmful. It consistently uses words such as “Imagined health risks” which makes the reader feel as though the opposite view of the author is not only invalid, but completely absurd. However, the blog brings up valid points as to why some of the hype about the controversial Monsanto Protection Act may simply be blown out of proportion. It definitely offers the other side of the argument regarding this act, but the impact of its message was lessened by the condescending tone of the work as a whole. The organization of the blog was excellent, as each point was listed in bold and then further elaborated upon in the section below it. If the article was more polite to the other side of the argument, I would have appreciated the points a little more and I definitely would have read this blog again. Tone in a blog really goes a long way, and the condescension of this one was something that immediately turned me off of the blogger’s work.

No comments:

Post a Comment