GM debate from 6 August, 1999

18 October 1999

GM debate — from 6 August, 1999


GM debate — Readers have their say

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EVEN this shall pass away.

RoundUp resistance seems to be the center of the talk; however, us Yanks are doing BT corn.

Some studies about eight years ago found that the insects that had resistance to OPs and other insecticides developed a resistance to Bt in about 3 generations.

In mid-west US, we are already having problems with RoundUp resistance.

Im not so much worried about the health problems as having to get out the
hoe – there is no farm labour available.

Outside the discussion, I havent seen much on the continental dioxin. Is
anyone concerned about a nut?

  • Wallace Deen, Richmond, Missouri, USA

    ALTHOUGH the long-term risks, if any, of GM products are unknown, I
    see GM as the last opportunity for yield advances.

    Arable cropland will continue to decrease in availability, in lock-step with increases in population.

    If we are to feed the world, GM is the most likely way forward.

  • Benjamen Hempstead, Croton, Ohio, USA

    I BELIEVE the public is being duped by junk science.

    Actually there are very few plants and animals – including pets – that resemble their ancestors of 100 years ago.

    Mendel started genetic manipulation years ago; today, with advanced
    technology, we are only speeding up the progress.

  • No name and address supplied

    I THINK that we have to have research into GM crops and the Government and the media, along with Lord Melchett and his people at Greenpeace, have hyped it up so that the general public dont know what to think.

    And as for Greenpeace going on to farms and destroying crops, especially when they pull up and destroy non-GM crops, they should be prosecuted, but as usual nothing will be done and they will be allowed to carry on and cause criminal damage and trespass on private property.

  • Nikki Anderson, Dereham, Norfolk

    NOW is a time to wait; we cannot make decisions on the safety of these crops without proper testing.

    What we need to know at the moment is exactly how each individual case has been tested and the results that have been given so far.

    For instance, have they actually found out how safe these plants are, not only to people but to their enviroment? They talk of results from these, but I have never seen where and how these experiments have been carried out.

    They say that a governing body that tested these plants before excepting them into the food chain exsists but, if so, where are the results of these many experiments.

    Most of us now understand the techniques used and the implications of GM crops – now the information we are
    asking for is raw data; how do these crops perform, their value, the safety
    features, and the evidence of all of these things, which everybody needs to make a decision.

    OK, so they may make weeds resistant, but to what extent?

  • No name and address supplied

    GM foods are so common in the supermarkets, that only now through the
    publicity in the press and media in general, is the public more aware of the
    contents of the foods and now are starting to take more care when buying

    Only last week when we bought cheese from the co-op it was marked that
    GM items were included in the cheese to replace animal rennet. So I am afraid
    we will not be buying any more co-op cheese.

    We have no idea how long GM substances have been included in the products.

  • Name not supplied

    THE British public are weary enough of farming prctices, and GM crops are not needed in the UK for the time being, as we supply ample food at low cost.

    Farmers using GMs will put themselves in the hands of large corporations whose only motives are to restrict farmers choices and in turn make larger profits for the companies, not for farmers!

  • Nigel P Donkin, Selby, North Yorkshire

    THE thought of seeds which are sterile, sown into the grown to provide food fills me with horror.

    Farmers are the food-producers of the earth. If they cannot save their “seed corn” for the future, what will happen if these seeds “take over” and all the other seeds die out.

    We will be at the mercy of the seed producers, their stocks will dwindle and worldwide famine could be hovering on the horizon.

    This is a sci-fi scenario, I know, and rational thought may show that it is
    hysterical. However, too many disasters have happened because the “what if?”
    questions have not been thought through.

    Organophosphates (OPs) may not be the worst man-made introduction – GM crops could top the OP debacle.

    Leave it alone, dont let Monsanto or any of the other big companies dictate how the earth will look for our childrens children.

    We should listen to the Mark Purdys of this world, not treat them like idiots
    with a bee in their collective crazy bonnets.

  • Deena Robinson

    I AM not certain that all possible risks have been carefully identified, but I am sure that no one will ever know about GM safety if we allow the Luddites to keep tearing up trials.

    It says something about peoples expectation of the results of trials when they try to destroy them before the results can be identified.

    As in the case of tobacco companies, we must make sure that trials are properly carried out and all results published.

    Regrettably, it is a well-known ploy to abandon those trials that are not giving the results you want to see.

  • Tony Whitsed, Spalding, Lincolnshire

    CROSS-POLLINATION with non-GM crops is a real problem – bees travel great distances.

    Crops bred to withstand increased strengths of herbicide will become a weed in their own right.

  • Bruce Hunningham, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

    THERE is no need for GM crops to be grown.

    We need to look to our future generations and look after our farms and countryside which are being destroyed by “all take and no give”.

  • W Dommett

    ALTHOUGH I have said that I think UK farmers will grow GM crops one day, I am strongly against the GM principle.

    Just because we can, does not necessarily mean we should. There will inevitably be damage to the environment and the natural order of things, especially our wildlife.

    I have yet to hear one genuine
    positive reason for growing GM crops. It is another example of corporate greed being foisted upon us under the guise of specious benefits.

    We should cease to behave in such an arrogant manner with Gods Creation.

  • D Watson

    PRO-GM arguments are based on poor information.

    For example, suggesting we need GM technology to feed the world is no argument for its introduction, since we have poor prices worldwide due to over-production already.

    People starve because of war and politics, not because farmers can not produce enough.

    GM crops have only one benefit, and that is the enlargement of the coffers of
    large multinationals. The consumer and farmer will be paying for it long-term
    when seed can only be obtained from the companies supplying it initially.

  • Richard Bedhall, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire

    GM crops mean too much technology. too quickly. The implications are serious if things go wrong.

  • Albert Campbell

    GM crop research must continue, if only to prove that the products are safe.

  • David Sherlock, Billingshurst, West Sussex

    LONG-TERM, GM could be a disaster, while offering no real short-term
    benefits except to the biotech industry.

  • No name and address supplied

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