GM debate crudely polarised

5 May 2000

GM debate ‘crudely polarised’

CRUDE polarisation in the debate over genetically modified crops is preventing proper discussion, says Gordon Conway, president of the Rockefeller Institute.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Professor Conway compares environmentalists and biotechnology firms to a pair of professional wrestlers fighting it out.

Instead, the scientist calls for more a more subtle level of debate on the issue.

As president of a foundation dedicated to improving “the well-being of mankind”, Mr Conway has funded research into golden rice, genetically engineered to tackle vitamin deficiency in the third world.

The FT says Prof Conways rebuke to biotech giant Monsanto for arrogantly extolling GM technology makes his enthusiasm for golden rice impossible to dismiss.

It praises Prof Conway for his role as a mediator “in a debate nearly bereft of middle ground”.

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