By Jack Stilgoe
The US Green party presidential candidate Jill Stein has come under fire for supposedly ‘anti-science’ statements relating to the risks of vaccines, genetically modified crops and electromagnetic fields from Wi-Fi. She said that there were ‘real questions’ about the dangers of vaccines, that GM foods have ‘not been proven safe’ and that ‘more more research is needed’ on the risks of electromagnetic fields.
For many American liberals, who have often feel that science is on their side in an increasingly polarised political war, her statements seem like a betrayal. While she is hardly endorsing a conspiracy, Stein is a Harvard-trained doctor and she is expected to know that these things are pretty safe.
As with climate change, it is tempting to claim that the science is certain, the evidence is clear and the debate should move on. Things are rarely so black-and-white. In politics, the facts don’t speak for themselves, so it falls to experts to make sense of the shades of grey.
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