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Has the time come for Europe to stop playing the 'Proverbial Ostrich' and pull it's head out of the ground over geneticaly modified crops. With an ever increasing world population and climatic changes ruining crops, should we at least allow certain GM crops to be grown for food! Crops such as the potato, in Britain, have have only two plants in the wild that are related to it and do not produce edible tubers nor do they seed and so would not be affected by cross polination.
A lot of research has been done and show that is miniscule to no risk to humans producing GM potatos for consumption and the GM variety is immune to the potato worm that destroys potato crops.
I know it would give the 'professional protesters' and luddites a 'field day' to go hysterical but I feel the time is right. No longer do we have any grain mountains etc in reserve and how often do we hear of rising prices to due shortages from crop failures these days, quite a lot! A lot more nutritious food could be produced and help in the fight against starvation in certain parts of the world.
However - it's not just about the foodstuffs themselves. It's also about the fact that GM modified plants are patented, and the seeds are only available from the patent holders and their licensees, who supply them at significantly higher prices than standard sources.
This is particularly unhelpful to the third world, who become dependant on the GM seed suppliers, and can put traditional local seed sources out of business - and means farmers cannot even produce their own seeds (because they're GM and patented).
For too long people have taken for granted the availability of food. I think in 2008 there was about 2 weeks worth of grain left in the world before the harvest. If that harvest had of failed god only knows what would of happened.
I don't know enough about GM crops to say "yes we should go down that route". However to a certain point most of our crops are modified before they are even sown. The amount and type of fertilisers and pesticides used have improved yields beyond belief.
I still believe there are massive areas of land which could be used for crops in Africa and South America which could help to feed the world.
"...Africa and South America which could help to feed the world."
Getting some of these countries to be able to grow ordinary crops efficiently without wanting to milk there own people into further poverty would be a good first start.
GMs are only the modern way, and organic is a Utopian dream that won't feed the world, and we are in the 21st century... are we not?
and I mean literally starving - not just a tad peckish because it was a few hours since my last meal - I wouldn't care whether my food was genetically modified to kingdom come.
People need food, and that means farming - lots and lots of farming - and the farms need to grow crops with high yields that are disease resistant. If plant genetics can help in achieving that, I say let's do it.
If you had watched Country File on television yesterday evening, then you would have seen some future proposals regarding GM food.
Looks like the world will have it, protests or not.
We have been eating genetically modified food for many years, even growing it in our own gardens.
Ever come across "F1 hybrid" seed varieties? One of the most popular garden varieties of Brussels Sprouts, "Peer Gynt", is such a seed.
Selective breeding of cattle and other livestock is genetic modification.
What is causing people concern is artificial, or unnatural, or man made, genetic modification.
In so many cases in the natural world man's interference has been disastrous, and that is why some believe that this path is fraught with danger.
So when a third world (or anyone's for that matter)farmers crop becomes affected by a patented gene from his neighbours nearby crop - and Monsanto say - "hey you've got to pay us for seed now, it's our patented gene" - you'd do what exactly?
But beneficial for whom?
What is best for mankind is not necessarily best for the planet and all other things on it.
We must learn to share.
This is coming around to the population question again, the two go hand in hand.
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