07 June 1999
Letter writers take to the barricades on GM issue

LETTER writers in The Independent and The Guardian were again engaged in the debate on genetically modified (GM) food.

A continuing concern is the intervention of the Prince of Wales with the role of the scientists (the subject of the Princes criticism) another source of dispute.

But one letter that catches the eye is from a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics working party on GM crops – one of the Princes scientists who draws scorn elsewhere.

Professor Michael Lipton, from the University of Sussex, argues that GM crops should be an “important part of the answer” to feeding the worlds poor. He suggests that GM crops “can and will save millions of lives, unless stopped, either by failure to change the incentives and institutions now directing GM resources, or by blanket opposition”.

Just how powerful that opposition has become is reported in another section of The Guardian. An article reports that consumer attitudes to GM crops, stimulated by a host of environmentalist groups, has been largely responsible for a retreat by supermarkets on carrying GM products.

  • The Independent 07/06/99 page 2 (The Monday Review)
  • The Guardian 07/06/99 page 17, page 2/3 (G2)