The Reporter
Issue 493, 27 October 2003
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GM crops aren't close to the public's heart – but what do the academics think?

 

Professor Louise Coletta - molecular medicine

At present I agree with the public perception and there is no scientific evidence to suggest otherwise. Current trials should be halted until further debate and experimental evidence are provided.

For food and plant crops which are grown in the outside uncontrolled environment, I would stop these trials. A major difference between plant GM and GM modification of animals, is that the plants cannot be separated from the wider environment (unless a contained experimental ecosyetem is devised). In animlas it is a strict condition that GM strains are not released into the environment. As everything in the environment interacts, and is not in isolation, trials on GM crops cannot be undertaken without some effect on the rest of the environment.

Import of GM foods and GM research conducted in the outside environment should be halted. Controlled scientific experiments (in a controlled environment) could continue as should experiments to look at the safety of GM foods following ingestion in humans and animals. All GM foods currently used should be labelled and the public should be aware where they are being used, including restaurants etc. It is not sufficient at present to label items as may contain GM products without specific details.

 
 


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