The political-corporate drive for imposing GM crops continues: the PM’s new scientific advisor says there is ‘strong case’ for it

Dr Mark WalportDr Michael AntoniouBut who would know more about genetic modification: immunologist Dr Mark Walport, (right) – the prime minister’s news scientific adviser –  who before heading the Wellcome Trust specialised in medical research, or Dr Michael Antoniou who specialises in molecular biology and gene structure at Kings College, UCL?

A survey by the Food Standards Agency last year found that two in three people believe food from animals given a GM diet should be described as such. And a British Science Association study showed public support for GM food declining from 46% in 2002 to 27%.

Concerns have been raised over ministers’ secret meetings with GM lobby groups – details of which emerged only following freedom of information requests.

A large and growing body of scientific and other authoritative evidence from farmers shows that many of the claims made are not true. Evidence presented in the GMO Myths and Truths report of which Dr Michael Antoniou is lead author, indicates that GM crops:
  • cannot solve the problem of world hunger but distract from its real causes – poverty, lack of access to food and, increasingly, lack of access to land to grow it on.
  • are laboratory-made, using technology that is totally different from natural breeding methods, and pose different risks from non-GM crops,
  • do not reduce pesticide use but increase it,
  • can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts,
  • create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant “superweeds” and increased disease susceptibility in crops,
  • are not adequately regulated to ensure safety,
  • harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems, and reduce biodiversity,
  • do not increase yield potential, and
  • are as energy-hungry as any other chemically-farmed crops.
As Peter Riley of GM Freeze says, ‘The push for GM is being orchestrated by large industry rather than in the interest of the consumer or public health.’

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Posted on April 21, 2013, in Government, Planning, Vested interests and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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