Documentary Review - GMO OMG
20 April 2015 by Katie Stockford
As battles over the world's food supply intensify, some tough questions become ever more pressing: Jeremy Seifert, the director of GMO OMG, is in search of answers to these questions. How do GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) affect our children, the health of our planet and our freedom of choice? And perhaps the ultimate question: is it even possible to reject the food system currently in place?
Seifert travels across the U.S and the globe questioning farmers, seed experts, activists and scientists. On his journey, he explores the potentially harmful effects of GMO crops such as corn, soybeans and canola and the corporate manipulation of seed supplies and their use in conjunction with now omnipresent, weed-resistant pesticides. Not surprisingly, representatives from Monsanto, the big daddy of engineered seed purveyors, denied Seifert's interview requests.
Seifert's quest for answers seems reasonable: he wants chemical companies such as Monsanto, Dow and DuPont that promote GMOs, to be more accountable to their customers. However, his arguments are dependent on slightly weak testimony and leaps in logic.
"GMO OMG" is supposed to be an educational tool and documentary designed to make viewers curious about what goes into their food. But Seifert is unfortunately torn between preaching to a group of already committed activists and educating uninformed viewers.
There have been more than six hundred studies published that address the relative risk of genetically engineered products. Instead of presenting a balanced argument, Seifert relies heavily on research published by Gilles-Eric Séralini, which has been widely condemned throughout the scientific world for its lack of statistical rigor, poor study design and small number of controls.
Whilst acknowledging the criticisms of Gilles-Eric Séralini, Seifert remains concerned that any studies highlighting the negative impact of what is a relatively new product should be investigated further to help us gain an understanding of the long term effect of GMOs on public health. GMO OMG is a beautifully shot and entertaining film. With its cinematography and family-centric approach, it takes what could have been a dry subject and broadens its appeal.