Owen Paterson accused of swallowing industry hype over Golden Rice

Here in Britain, our Environment Secretary is Owen Paterson. He’s in favour of genetically modified (GM, genetically engineered, GE) crops as he’s made clear on several occasions. You could look under my ‘genetic modification’ tag. He’s said that GM crops should be promoted in Britain.

But Mr Paterson’s remarks a few days ago were too extreme for my liking. He talked about Golden Rice (GR), a genetically modified variety of rice (Oryza sativa) which is currently being tried in experimental fields. GR is controversial.

No surprise that Mr Paterson wants GR to become commercially available. John Vidal and Karl Mathiesen at the Guardian tell us how Mr Paterson called the opponents of GR ‘wicked’.

I like that article which shows a range of opinions. GR is one GM crop on which I’m open-minded but whenever I scratch the surface, I find myself thinking that this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. In fact I could say that about Mr Paterson himself!

A month ago I discussed how some people think that GR is ‘no solution’ to malnutrition. Those who promote it claim that it’s a humanitarian development. Is that true? I’m not convinced.

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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One Response to Owen Paterson accused of swallowing industry hype over Golden Rice

  1. Pingback: Wickedness, Mr Paterson? | Science on the Land

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