Skip to main content

Originally published Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 10:05 PM

  • Share:
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

‘GMO OMG’: Documentary serves menu light on substance

A movie review of “GMO OMG,” Jeremy Seifert’s plain-folks primer on genetically modified food.

The New York Times

Movie Review

‘GMO OMG,’ a documentary directed by Jeremy Seifert. 85 minutes. Not rated. SIFF Cinema at the Film Center.

The New York Times does not provide star ratings with reviews.

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >


“GMO OMG,” Jeremy Seifert’s plain-folks primer on genetically modified food, is pitched somewhere between the high-school student and the helicopter parent. Its central concern — that Americans are inadequately informed about the corporate manipulation of the food supply — may be valid, but its reliance on cute-kiddie silliness does little to fill that void. Even children as photogenic as Seifert’s are no substitute for rigorous research.

We must ignore, then, sequences like the one in which the youngsters frolic in a cornfield, dressed in the equivalent of hazmat suits, the better to understand the sources of their father’s anxieties: for example, that about 80 percent of processed food contains scientifically altered ingredients, and that most of it — contrary to the wishes of a majority of Americans — is unlabeled. Or that Monsanto and other producers of these modified goods have spent a great deal of money to ensure that things stay that way.

But to the informed consumer hoping for greater elucidation, Seifert’s partisan, oversimplified survey falls short. He barely touches on the science behind the genetically modified organisms that are introduced into the food; fails to excavate the economic, social and ethical ramifications of seed patenting; and leaves the complex provenance of anti-GMO movements unexamined.

In fairness to Seifert, that’s a lot to cram into a film. And if his not unreasonable goal is to provide a gentle, flyover alert to obliviously chowing-down citizens, then he does so without hectoring and with no small amount of charm.

I told you those kids were cute.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Time to add another piece to your Hawks collection

Time to add another piece to your Hawks collection

Check out the full lineup of championship merchandise from The Seattle Times store.


Partner Video


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►