MadSci Network: Genetics

Re: What is a scientist's point of view on the Genetic Modifiaction of Foods?

Date: Thu Aug 14 01:56:05 2003
Posted By: Jeremy Cherfas, Staff, Public Awareness, IPGRI (International Plant Genetic Resources Institute)
Area of science: Genetics
ID: 1060733569.Ge

That's a good question, Naomi, and I wish there were some way to give you a simple answer, like "90% of scientists think that genetically engineering food is a wonderful thing". Unfortunately there are just too many scientists with just too many opinions to make that possible.

In the UK recently there have been several attempts to summarize the state of play, but each of them has been undermined by its opponents. You could look at the site of the UK agricultural biodiversity coalition. They are opponents of GM foods, but they link to a lot of other material.

Personally, I stand by an article I wrote some years ago. In my view, there's nothing special about genetic modification of food, except that it allows mistakes to be made much more quickly. Again, personally, I don't see why proponents of GM food seem to be so against labelling. If GM crops are better in any way, why not tell us about it and let us make a free choice?

I hope that helps.


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