G.M. agriculture.

  Cymro. 11:58 19 Jun 2008

click here

So the government want a debate on genetically-modified (GM) crops. This forum may well be a good place for such a debate although I suspect it has been debated here before.

My personal view has always been that the anti-science lobby has rather hijacked the subject by feeding us their own propaganda on the matter.

In my opinion GM agriculture is the way forward for a world that needs to be able to produce as much food as possible. With GM crops now being grown in ever larger amounts in many overseas countries the genie is now out of the bottle and the biggest risk to us is that the UK will be left behind in what could be a the most vital scientific breakthrough of the millennium.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 13:48 19 Jun 2008

People happily eat the muck that supermarkets sell as 'cheap' chickens, so GM food cannot be any worse.They are also quite happy to pour Sunny Delight and MacDonald's down their mewling offspring's throats...I cannot see a problem with GM and if it helps 3rd world countries to feed their populations, then rock on I say.


  day2strike 14:36 19 Jun 2008

GM foods may be the way to go with global warming effecting the weather & plant growth.
Unless a way can be found to produce more food in a faster & economical way then GM foods may be the normin 10-20 years time!

  BT 17:04 19 Jun 2008

It amuses me that the most vociferous 'Tree Huggers' are often the ones advocating the use of Soya milk, protein etc., probably the most GM product around and unlike wheat, corn etc. not able to be segregated into GM and non-GM products.

Lets face it 'Genetic Modification' has been going on for many, many years in the guise of selective plant breeding and animal husbandry. Its only the recent developments in Gene Manipulation that has got certain people up in arms, but as long as the scientific guidelines are properly followed, is safe enough.

  laurie53 21:37 19 Jun 2008

Many years ago there was a story about scientists developing a rice variety that gave ten times the yield as the normal varieties.

All that happened was that the peasant farmers only planted one tenth of what they had before, because they knew that the landlord or the state, depending on where they lived, would take any surplus they produced.

  Grey Goo 21:54 19 Jun 2008

The worst scenario regarding GM seeds is that they will fail after a certain number of generations and there will not be any stocks of natural seeds left. I am sure that eating GM produce is not hazardous but not having any produce to eat may well be.

  DrScott 21:59 19 Jun 2008

Well yes and no. Most of those involved with GM food production are aware of the founder effect, which is in essence what you are suggesting might occur.

There are huge seed databases kept in part to ensure such a catastrophe would not happen. Besides, capitalism will ensure many crop varieties are kept in circulation.

If I'm honest, I've never quite got to grips with the argument against GM food. I'd be very grateful if anyone could point me in a sensible direction...

  carver 09:11 20 Jun 2008

GM crops are normally modified to become resistance to a particular weed killer, this weed killer can then be applied without effecting the crop.

One small problem is that all the seed has to be bought from the manufacture, because any seed produced from the crop is sterile. So the farmer is tied into one firm.

A major concern was that rats/ mice eating the seeds could also become resistance to the weed killer and if that happens then you have a major rodent problem.

Another SMALL problem is pollen drift, this has been known to drift for up to 10 miles in ideal conditions. A lot of people are concerned in case you get GM crops affecting weeds, Bees, insects, birds, now a lot of people just aren't concerned about a few small animals but without them half the plants in this country could disappear.

Also no real long term tests have been done to find out just what GM crops do to humans or their offspring, are you prepared to be the test subject.

One last thing, most GM crops do not produce more end produce, it's only because they can blast it with a Strong weed killer that they get more out to the acre.

  sunny staines 09:30 20 Jun 2008

how are gm seeds sterile, are they uv treated before sale?
anyone explain that point please.

  Cymro. 11:09 20 Jun 2008

You put forward a good argument against GM crops and I am sure that you have pointed out the drawbacks that many of us were not aware of, but still I am of a mind that all in all they are a good thing for mankind assuming the scientists can overcome the feared problems.

  carver 13:57 20 Jun 2008

The GM seed sold to the farmer is not sterile it's the crop thats produced that is sterile, I don't know how it's done but I do know that the seed produced cannot produce any more plants.

The farmer is then in the position of having to buy his next season harvest of the firm who supplied him the seed, he also has to buy the weed killer off the same firm.

Do you really trust a scientist who is paid by the same firm that is supplying the GM seed, 50 years ago the people of this world were told that DDT was perfectly safe, 40 years ago women were prescribed Thalidomide and also told it was safe, 15 years ago we were told you couldn't catch BSE from eating meat, and that started because some manufacture decided that it was alright to put meat waste into the feed for cows, like me to go on further.

I for one am of the opinion that I would not like to be a long term test subject, only to be told in 10 years, oops we might have got it wrong.

In countries that are hit by famine what do we do, we throw bags of rice at them, then when every body feels better we walk away, what we should be doing is helping them at the root cause of the problem and giving them help that will last.

We give cash aid to certain countries and most of that is diverted into some ones pocket and ever body knows it happens and yet they still allow it.

Sorry rant over.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

iMac Pro review

25 book design and illustration tips

iMac Pro review

Idées cadeaux pour geeks et tech addicts