Celebrities against GM foods

Television chefs and other public figures have been blamed for preventing science from feeding the poor by campaigning against genetically modified foods.

Celebrities’ GM crusade stops science feeding the poor, says campaigner – Telegraph.

The environmentalist Mark Lynas said GM crops could help provide more food at a lower price by reducing the need for pesticides and fertilisers.

He said the poorest people of the world could benefit from crops with added nutritional benefits or designed to resist droughts and floods, but such crops were not being developed because people in positions of power said GM was dangerous.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the chef, the gardener Monty Don and the Prince of Wales have all spoken against GM.

“My message to the anti-GM lobby, from the ranks of the British aristocrats and celebrity chefs to the US foodies to the peasant groups of India is this: you are entitled to your views, but you must know by now that they are not supported by science,” said Mr Lynas. “We are coming to a crunch point, and for the sake of both people and the planet, now is the time for you to get out of the way and let the rest of us get on with feeding the world sustainably.”

This is still a controversial topic with health and environmental concerns. Science won’t help convince people who have reasons other than the science. And they can’t seem to accept that even though we can CHOOSE certain types of food, others can’t. They die.

GM foods have been eaten for decades. Selection of plants and breeding is a form of GM itself but we now have a faster means to do it.

The bottom line is that there is no good reason to be listening to celebrities and non-scientists over this issue but to consider the science and discuss with those who actually decide the policy.

  5 comments for “Celebrities against GM foods

  1. Phil
    January 4, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    It all depends upon what is being selected. Increase in vitamins or caloric content seems to be ok. Resistance to pesticides is on the fence since the public worries about resistance being spread to wild forms. The infamous fish gene in tomatoes (sorry I don’t remember the details) certainly freaks people out. Should it? It depends doesn’t it? The GMO industry certainly hasn’t explained it very well. Even though I have a degree in science, I only follow GMO from the newspaper/tv and I can’t say I’ve ever seen a scientific explanation of this specific procedure.

  2. Irna
    January 4, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    An interesting question that seems rarely to be asked: what are GMO used for, mostly? Is it to “feed the poor”? or is it rather to provide bigger crops of corn, soya and such to feed the “biofuel” industry, and to feed the cattle – and so to allow us to continue to drive and eat too much meat at a low cost?

  3. Ryuthrowsstuff
    January 4, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    That’s the other edge of issue. The patent/IP situation in regards to large agri-business stifles the utility of gm crops for the egalitarian and sustainable uses they get lauded for. But that’s a political issue and has nothing to do with the science or safety of the crops themselves. Its also hardly unique to GM crops, much of the developed world’s IP and patent laws are a big mess, and foster some pretty egregious business practices in a number of industries.

  4. marachi
    January 6, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    The reasons for opposing GM from a science point of view may be weak, but from other points of view they are not. The contributor above points out that GM is largely used not for ‘feeding the malnourished’- there is after all more than enough resources to go around. GM is used to drive GM foods companies profits. There is a genuine fear that while farmers have always been in control of the seeds they use, that GM may change this. Research GMO please; but proceed with exceptional caution and suspicion.

  5. January 6, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    I dispute this because it’s not as clear cut as you portray. GM is used across the board, for feeding the malnourished (though some of this has been rejected for unsound reasons) and for making better crop yields in general. It’s an important innovation, it will be widely employed.

    But there CERTAINLY is a downside to the patenting of the organism. Nothing is clear cut good or bad, there are always consequences. Those are the problems that should get our focus. As I said, the corporate greed has been a big issue but to skew the science in order to bolster your GM=bad equation is NOT the right way to approach it.

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