Comments on first report of GM Science Review, from Sally
section 3.2 (precautionary principle) This is a remarkably
short section for such an important principle. The principle
is not just about risk assessment, or appraisal methods, it
was conceived (under the Rio Declaration to which the UK is,
I believe, a signatory) as a basis for decisions and actions.
I do not see much consideration in this report of how the
laws of ecology affect the application of the precautionary
principle in relation to GM crops.
It seems to me that we know the potential for small effects
to multiply exponentially throughout a population or an ecosystem,
and so the precautionary principle is a critical consideration,
which deserves more weight than it receives in the current
report of the GM Science Review.
p. 37 Bailey et al (for Defra) - was this research published
in a peer-reviewed journal?
top of p. 38 Griffiths et al (2001) - "no change in
measures of overall functioning" (of soil that was biologically
impoverished) - did this include looking for changes in nutrient
levels in a range of food crops grown on the impoverished
Should we not, in any case, be considering the implications
of HGT on the ability of soils to support a wide range of
micro-nutrients in food crops?
If food crops now contain fewer nutrients than they did in
the 1940s, presumably as a side-effect of modern farming techniques,
have we any evidence on how GM crops and their associated
farm management methods would affect this aspect of food quality?
7.4.8. I agree that we need more understanding of soil ecosystems.
Who will pay for the research?