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rating
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Topic

Russia creates propaganda targeted towards the West to spread misinformation about GMOs

Status
Debating

Waiting for the contender's first argument.

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Time for argument
One week
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There have been allegations that Russia has created a misinformation campaign regarding GMOs in order to bolster its own agricultural sector.

We would be debating the resolution: Russia creates propaganda targeted towards the West to spread misinformation about GMOs

As Pro BoP is on me to prove that Russia is spreading information about GMOs, that this information is indeed false, and that this is all part of a propaganda effort.

Round 1
Pro
Thank you to @Idontknowanything for accepting this debate.

Framing
For the word ‘misinformation’, the definition from Oxford Languages should be used: “false or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive.” [1]

Propaganda is simply “the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person”[2]

“Targeted towards the West” does not mean that this misinformation has to solely cater to the west, but instead that the primary intended consumer is the West. This is because the word targeted talks to the intention of the producer, but has nothing to do with how media is consumed. 

Finally, the word Russia is more complicated than it seems because one could choose to interpret it in many ways. It could include the government, a geographical location, or something else. In the context of a resolustional debate we should take the broadest interpretation. This is because the only purpose of the debate is to prove the resolution true or false, and the resolution is true in any form if it is true, while it is only false if all reasonable interpretation of the resolutions are false. 

This is why we should assume that the word Russia includes all institutions, individuals, and properties of which Russia consists. 

Case 

According to a report from ISU Russia drives GMO misinformation: “Biotech news coverage in English-language Russian media fits the profile of the Russian information warfare strategy described in recent military reports. This raises the question of whether Russia views the dissemination of anti-GMO information as just one of many divisive issues it can exploit as part of its information war, or if GMOs serve more expansive disruptive purposes. Distinctive patterns in Russian news provide evidence of a coordinated information campaign that could turn public opinion against genetic engineering. The recent branding of Russian agriculture as the ecologically clean alternative to genetically engineered foods is suggestive of an economic motive behind the information campaign against western biotechnologies.” [3]

This propaganda is casts GMOs in a negative light, and is not random: "Compared to a wide range of American news media, two Russian news agencies — RT and Sputnik — were more likely to report on GMOs and to cast GMOs in an explicitly or implicitly negative light,” Dorius told Gizmodo. “The evidence suggest that the difference between Russian news concerning GMOs and U.S. news on the same topic is not random.” [4]

And indeed, this negative information is false. [5]

Russia has an economic motive to undermine GMOs, and its outlets actively publish information that the scientific community as a whole knows to be false. Furthermore this “fits the profile of the Russian information warfare strategy.” It is more than clear that this is propaganda.  






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