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Food, Fatherhood, and Fear: "GMO OMG" Transcends Outrage Docs with Honest Emotions

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

I didn't think I'd like GMO OMG, because it looked like an outrage documentary. You know the type: They're films that ask viewers to pound their fists with righteous indignation at the evil deeds they reveal. My problem with outrage documentaries is that the form pushes directors to overstate their case and ignore nuance. I can't enjoy a good fury fest when I'm aware that someone is trying to manhandle me into anger.  

When I got a chance to watch GMO OMG before its release I figured I'd last for a few minutes, then switch it off. But I surprised myself by lingering until the end, and enjoying it. GMO OMG is an outrage documentary: It starts with the premise that GM food is frightening and demands that the audience get angry. But that's not all it is. Director Jeremy Seifert accomplishes something remarkable when he turns his camera on his family: In those moments the film feels utterly honest, rather than manipulative. You can take issue with the facts Seifert marshals against GMOs, but there's no arguing with his love for his sons, or his frustration with the opacity of the food system. A hail of arguments and counterarguments are hurled back and forth every day in the debate over GM food. But all this arguing never changes the way people feel. So it's refreshing to see a work that gives emotion its due.