Monday, 28 September 2009

GM Rice petition

In just a few weeks, the European Union will decide whether or not GM rice can enter EU countries, appear on supermarket shelves and end up on our dinner plates. If the EU approves the import of Bayer GM rice, farmers in the US and elsewhere may soon start planting it.

The GM industry, and their supporters, often claim that we need GM food to feed the world but this is a very simple and highly misleading position to take (like most of the anti-environmental arguments, it appeals to the gullible and the self-interested who seem not to analyse any topic beyond the point at which they confirm their innate biases and their own wishful thinking). It is yet another example of an unsustainable solution with huge hidden drawbacks.

If you want to have your say, here is a link to a Greenpeace petition which states:

We ask all governments around the world to protect consumers and farmers, their crops and fields by rejecting Bayer’s GM rice, and to stop GM rice field trials”.


1 comment:

TonyTheProf said...

I'm actually not wholly opposed to GM technology, but I think as a "free enterprise" project it is a disaster; it needs extremely tight government control to ensure we don't get (a) mixed genes - scorpion / potatoe with no knowledge of side effects (b) terminator crops (c) the strategy that makes the crop not restistant to bugs etc but just capable of having mind blowing amounts of bug killer sprays on it without damaging it because it has been changed. All those kinds of dangerous changes come from commercial companies and the marketplace.

On the other side, very very careful use of GM within plant types could speed the development of resistant strains of wheat and avert famines. I am inclined to agree with Dr Borlaug on that. So I'd say - take GM away from companies, and make GM development of resistant strains an independent quango, with environmentalists on board to ensure that it is done carefully.

At the moment, there is a complete polarisation between the commercial providers of technology and the environmentalists, and no via media gets a look in. A bit like New Atheists agains Creationists!