Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Why Take the Risk of Sowing GM Crops?

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Why Take the Risk of Sowing GM Crops?

Article excerpt

Writing as a member of the Green Party and against GM crops I would like to pose Dr Gordon Adam some questions.

For what reason should we take the risks of sowing GM crops? The argument of less herbicide use is specious given that widespread GM crops in Canada has given them `superweeds', rapidly becoming tolerant to three different herbicides - revealed in a study by English Nature.

Agrochemical companies must be ecstatic knowing that herbicide-tolerant oilseed rape required - between 1997-2000 - an average of 2.13 weedkiller applications per GM Roundup Ready and Liberty Link crops, compared to 1.78 applications for conventional varieties.

Can Dr Adam cite an in-depth study that confirms the safe consumption of GM food or does he feel the consumer must act the guinea pig?

What does he think the "precautionary principle" was meant to safeguard against if not precisely against the introduction of unnecessary technologies, immutable in character, with unknown consequences, designed for profit above all else?

Have we learned anything from the hubris that has helped to give us BSE, global warming and punching holes in the ozone layer?

Finally, by what method does Dr Adam suggest of "recalling" the GM contaminated plants if the introduction of GM proves disastrous, if not deadly?

DEREK ROBERTSON

It's time to get our own house in order

JOHN Reid said this morning that the Government had been concentrating on foreign matters lately - Iraq, Afghanistan etc, but domestic policies had progressed.

Our domestic policies have progressed at about the pace and outcome as Iraq and Afghanistan and look at the state they are in.

Take the pension shambles. Thousands have ended up with next to nothing for their retirement years. And how strange that MPs' pensions were increased and sorted out before the collapse of most pension funds - on the stock market this would have been called insider trading! …

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