Haven’t things changed? For years it was Frankenstein food and evil multinational biotech companies. Now it’s all changed and, in the interests of the Third World, it’s immoral not to adopt whatever technology is available to feed and clothe the masses. I’m afraid I’m still sitting on the fence. There is no doubt that a program by Cornell University to make aubergines resistant to whatever insect it is that find them irresistible is a completely different ball game to Monsanto developing weed killer resistant maize so they could sell more chemical herbicides. But Monsanto still own the intellectual property and I’m sure they’ll be looking for a payback somewhere down the line. The other example quoted also seemed quite innocuous. Taking gene from a blight resistant potato and inserting it into a blight friendly Maris Piper doesn’t seem that radical.
So where does that leave us? Firstly, however much they ridicule the work of that scientist in Aberdeen who believed that a diet of GM food compromised the immune system of his mice, there is a growing group of doctors and scientists who believe, with a strong body of circumstantial evidence, that they do just that. Last year Totnesian, Jason Liosatos, organized a conference at Dartington on the subject. Secondly, I would be the last person to say that capitalism doesn’t produce results but if we’re expected to buy into the belief that the biotech companies are purely motivated by philanthropic motives, they must think we’re pretty naive. So come on BBC Panorama! Own up – wasn’t the program just a little bit one sided?