Des Moines Register: Anti-GMO articles tied to Russian sites, ISU research shows

By Donnelle Eller

Politics isn’t the only issue where Russia seeks to sway U.S. opinion.

The former communist country is trying to influence American’s attitudes about genetically engineered crops and biotechnology, according to new Iowa State University research.

Russia is funding articles shared online that question the safety of GMOs in an effort hurt U.S. agriculture interests and bolster its position as the “ecologically clean alternative” to genetically engineered food, said Shawn Dorius, an ISU assistant sociology professor.

Dorius led the research with Carolyn Lawrence-Dill, an associate professor in ISU’s departments of agronomy and genetics, development and cell biology.

Several U.S. crops are genetically engineered. About 90 percent of Iowa and U.S. farmers grow corn and soybeans, for example, that are genetically engineered to tolerate herbicides and pesticides.

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