It’s time I started blogging about genetic modification (GM). As a scientist, I know the power of GM in the lab. I’ve done it myself. But GM in the field? That frightens me.
In recent history the Green Revolution changed many lives. Can GM crops be the next big thing? They already are so in many parts of the world. Here in Britain, Leo Hickman at The Guardian describes an ongoing debate.
My fellow blogger petrel41 has written about in vivo evidence of GM maize (corn, Zea mays) being hazardous to eat. [Edit: that study, by Gilles-Eric Séralini, involved a maize called NK603 being fed to lab rats (Rattus norvegicus). Maize NK603 was developed by Monsanto to resist its herbicide (weedkiller) called Roundup (glyphosate) so this is a Roundup Ready crop. The rats were fed Roundup as well as maize NK103. They got cancer. You can read about that study, and the controversy is arose, here.] [Edit#2: Stories told about Séralini’s work aren’t always correct. Here’s the Frequently Asked Questions page on Séralini’s website.]
But another fellow blogger, Skeptical Raptor, compares anti-GM to climate change denial.
At my University there’s good plant science going on. I even signed up for a PhD in the Plant Centre. Then my funding from the meat industries’ levy boards came through and I followed my heart. That meant doing the dirty on a senior scientist who didn’t deserve that but who, miraculously, is still speaking to me. Anyway it’s water under the bridge. I should look again at what the Plant Centre people are doing, especially at what they say about their GM crops’ biosafety.
What do you think?