GMOs are somehow to blame
Genetically modified crops have been a target of conspiracy theorists for years, so it was hardly a surprise to see GMOs blamed in the early stages of the COVID pandemic. In early March, Italian attorney Francesco Billota penned a bizarre article for Il Manifesto, falsely claiming that GM crops cause genetic pollution that allows viruses to proliferate due to the resulting environmental “imbalance.” Anti-GMO activists have also tried to blame modern agriculture, which is strange, since the known path of the virus into the human population — as with Ebola, HIV and many others — was through the very ancient practice of people capturing and killing wildlife.
Ironically, GMOs will almost certainly be part of any vaccine solution. If any of the ongoing 70 vaccine projects work (which is a big if), that would be pretty much the only guaranteed way the world can get out of the COVID mess. Vaccines could be based on either GM attenuated viruses or use antigens produced in GM insect cell lines or plants. If GMOs do help save the world from the curse of COVID, maybe they’ll stop being a dirty word.