My fellow blogger Eideard tells us of research into a plant gene called Scarecrow. This is interesting science. But crops whose Scarecrow would be genetically modified (GM) to make them more productive? That idea scares me.
Is this Big Biotech in action? I asked. Well, seemingly not. The research is funded by respectable institutions which are not commercial companies. The National Science Foundation (NSF – I assume it’s the US NSF since Cornell is Stateside) and the US Department of Agriculture.
So this isn’t another Monsanto product… not yet, anyway. But as you know, I’ve no problem about people making money on the land. I do have real concerns about what GM may do on the land. Superweeds, superpests… there are other ways to feed the world. Roger Leakey at Global Food Security wrote a thoughtful article about the ways forward.
I haven’t yet seen any information about the biosafety of Scarecrow-modified crops. Does that information exist? If you find it, do please let me know. Until I see it I’m sticking to my cautious opinion about these GM crops, and other GM crops. Exciting in the lab. Scary in the field.