Genetically Modified Crops
- Ben says don't believe the spin!
'you know, we had a big presentation from the industry, and really,
GM crops will have to be allowed in if we're to feed everyone,
its the only way to solve the food crisis'
It is a line that has been put forward by the GM public relations people in the newspapers as well.
The reality is that these faceless corporations have sunk billions and billions of borrowed dollars developing these things, and whether they work or not, they are desperate to get some profit from them any way they can.
So they are lobbying the government to allow them to sell GM seed in the UK, using whatever the latest worry is. (Last year it was the need for higher vitamins in rice, then cheap drugs from corn, now the 'food crisis'. )
Once we plant GM crops there's no going back - the genes will escape into wild plants and other food crops.
The parallels are striking:
- developed to create a profitable 'new market' where none existed before
- massively hyped as a 'new way of doing things'
- hard to understand, even by the regulators
- so regulators accept industry assurances at face value
- and not investigated or tested for safety before use.
- potentially very dangerous to the public
- designed to be costly to large numbers of 'little people' worldwide
- designed to be profitable to just a handful of corporations in USA
- very difficult to contain once the effects get out of control (a "systemic" risk)
Forgetting all the arguments about toxicity and genetic pollution for the moment, concentrate on this simple fact:
GM crops will have LOWER yields than natural plants.
Now take that plant, and put in a poison gene from a bacteria. It is locked 'on', so that every bit of the plant has to use some of its energy making a toxic compound.
at risk to the same sort of short-term, ignorant, greedy fools who wrecked the banking system.
|Postscript: I wrote this in 2008. In 2009 a scientific study by the UCS looking at two dozen different crop trials came to the same conclusion - GM Seeds do not increase yields. |
(The Penguin has an allotment!)