SIRC Media Watch Archive
Comment and Opinion – April 2002

Ethics and ecofascism. Gregory Pence teaches bioethics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the United States, and he is no stranger to controversy. His views on human cloning, where he argued that it is wrong to rule out the potential for such procedures and portrayed opponents of cloning as 'genetic fatalists' who cannot entertain new ideas and scientific progress, made him a target for quite vitriolic censure. His new book, Designer Food: Mutant Harvest or Breadbasket of the World, will similarly upset the 'naturalists' and those who oppose even modest applications of science and technology as a means of improving the human condition. It not so much what Pence has to say, but more the clarity with which he expresses his views. Full review.

Naming and Praising Awards – April 2002. SIRC Naming and Praising Awards go to James Meikle at the Guardian and David Derbyshire at the Telegraph for their calm, responsible coverage of the recent 'Parkinson's breakthrough' story. Full story.

Food Junkies. The much hyped BBC2 TV series, Food Junkies, is typical of its genre. Find some stupid people who claim that they are unable to control what they eat – or whose lifestyles are such that they "don't allow us to come home and make a salad" – and portray them as hapless victims of cynical multinational food companies whose perverse aim is seemingly to kill off the principal consumers of their products. Add in some 'experts', whose life's mission is to rid the world of fat/salt/sugar or whatever, and a few celebrity chefs for good measure – "Yourr feeshancheeps are so deesgusting" mutters Raymond Blanc darkly – and that's 'cutting-edge' television? Full article.