Know GMO is a film about different points of view. This film is really three films in one. It’s a story about Genetically Modified Food, and how it’s been setup as the antithesis of Organic Food. It’s a story about fathers and sons, how Director Nick Saik and his father, Rob Saik have taken on this project together, and must resolve their differing views on the world and its food supply. It’s also a story about truth versus belief. In today’s world, the speed of a conversation, and the desire to contribute to it, has taken priority over actively listening to an alternate view and understanding it. We’ve seen a general retraction from the knowledge that science has given us, and this film aims to examine and understand that retraction.
In all the story lines of the film the objective is to find truth and seek the understanding that comes when two perspectives can be reconciled into a common view. In Know GMO, we are trying to see if the values that lead to Organic methods of production have anything to do with the values that allow Bio-Technology (GMO) to exist as a tool in the food supply chain. This endeavour will take Nick, and Rob, to various agricultural centres around the world. They will gain depth in their understanding of the world ’s requirement for food. Agriculture in Hawaii, Kenya, Uganda, Argentina, all have specific needs and concerns to address, and they all have different views on the use of GMO technologies to help solve problems.
The film uncovers the definition of quality in food as it’s seen by different individuals, organizations, and countries. Understanding what quality means from different perspectives will allow Nick to reconcile the values of GMO supporters and Organic supporters. During this production it becomes extremely evident that there are positive attributes to support various viewpoints. GMO and Organic do not end up being mutually exclusive, neither do Rob’s or Nick’s ideas, and neither does truth and belief.
Belief, tempered with truth ends up showing Nick that his Dad’s ideas about quality in food are valid, and that conservative ideals cause quality to be seen in a certain way. It also shows Rob that Nick has an understanding of this GMO/Organic debate that came from a young liberal curiosity of the world’s food needs. A father and a son have found some common ground that not only they can comfortably share, but it might just have enough space in it for the rest of the world too. Know GMO aims to help Organic supporters and GMO supporters find enough understanding to contribute to solving the world’s food problems without so much fear in the discussion.