Caron Chess
Rutgers University

This article, based on a presentation at the National Agricultural Council’s meeting (Chess, 1995), nudges the agbiotech field to look at its communication practices by examining (1) the assumption that education will increase acceptance of genetically engineered food, and (2) the fear that labeling will reduce acceptance.

Information Is Not A Cure

An assistant commissioner for a state agency was explaining to a crowd at a public meeting that the hazardous waste incinerator proposed for the community posed a minimal risk. According to him, the incinerator would, at most, lead to the risk of one additional cancer case in a population of one million over a 70 year history. The crowd’s response: “We hope you are the one” (Hance, Chess, & Sandman 1988).