Magazine article Geographical

GM Debate Gets an Update

Magazine article Geographical

GM Debate Gets an Update

Article excerpt

I was at university in Australia studying biology when the furore over genetically modified food first erupted. From what I can gather, the 'debate' was slightly less charged in my home country than it was here, but I still got a first-hand taste of the vitriol that it generated when I questioned some of the claims of anti-GM activists to whom I spoke and copped an earful of abuse for my troubles.

The recent protests over farm trials of GM wheat in Hertfordshire prompted me to commission Mark Rowe to revisit the issue for this month's Dossier (page 32). I was curious to see how the debate had moved on and was duly fascinated by his report.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the number of GM crops now being cultivated, the health and safety fears that were so central to the earlier opposition have apparently now moved to the background. In their place are much more nuanced arguments about the best ways to ensure food security and the role of multinationals in food production. …

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