In one paragraph your report states that 'Gene flow between
crop varieties is inevitable' Page 204
And in another 'The feasibility of establishing a separate
supply and production chain for GM and non-GM crops is dependent
on our understanding of the crops themselves and how the genes
move.' Page 209
Which means that contamination and proliferation of GM into
non-GM crops is inevitable. And that you really do not know
how it is possible for the crops to co-exist. Simply put,
the commercialisation of GM would be the end of organic farming.
Since Organic farmers could not guarantee that their produce
was free from GMO.
'Gene flow between crop varieties is inevitable' means that
consumers loose their right to choose.
Our ancestors and todays farmers deliberately select genetic
traits to increase yield and productivity. But this did not
happen overnight, it is a process that works relatively within
the bounds of what occurs in the natural environment. As it
takes advantage of the natural genetic diversity that already
exists. It uses the evolutionary process: It slowly increases
advantageous natural traits and characteristics. And this
breeding would have been physically possible in the natural
environment anyway. The process of breeding ensures that the
rest of the genetic code is stable and well rounded, functions
normally, within the bounds of what is physically and naturally
possible. If something goes wrong genetically, the process
aborts and man can't do much about it. The genetic code is
not altered so radically that there is a stark difference
in characteristics of the next generation. The process of
breeding naturally takes account of genetic complexity, even
if man chooses the partners. But, what I understand from your
report, is that there are no such safeguards with GM technology.
Since the manipulation of one gene, can affect others around
it. Which in turn, can profoundly alter the overall characteristics
expressed by the organism. Perhaps this might seem to be acceptable
to do in controlled conditions. Where the effects can be contained
if the worst should happen. Your report translated as, genetically
modified organisms are capable of interbreeding and can mutate
when released into the natural environment. They have the
potential to damage us, wildlife and the natural environment.
They are something that we do not understand very well and
Conventional methods of selecting for the best genetic traits
through breeding, have been tried and tested over the past
11 thousand years (approximately 9 000 BCE development of
agriculture Middle East). This method of farming has gone
on perfectly safely and without incident. It has provided
us with all the food we want.
Then 21 whole years ago, a giant profit making company genetically
modified the first plant cell. Since then, we have heard about
super-resistant strains of GM plants cause serious problems
in Canada: GM potatoes are found to be accidentally highly
toxic: And a study by an eminent scientist which said that
genetically modified food fed to mice, damaged their immune
'Can plant-virus-derived transgenes recombine with, and be
transferred to viruses? If horizontal gene transfer is possible
between GM plants and viruses could this result in new viruses
that could cause irrecoverable damage to the ecosystem or
to crops?' 7.5 Page 235
'Could transgenes (or parts of their DNA sequences) in food
survive digestion and behave differently in comparison to
traditional foodstuffs in their ability to relocate, recombine
or modify the consumer's genome or that of associated gut
microflora? If so, would this pose an increased risk to health
compared to the consumption of non-GM derived food?' 5.4 Page
The answer is that we do not know. At least, that is the
overall impression your report gives.
That we really do not know. And we do not have to have to
There really is absolutely no need at all for consumers to
be subjected to this risk...unless you are the company who
has developed this technology and would do anything to market
From an outsiders point of view, reading about experimentation
with viruses and bacteria for the purposes your report describes,
is be quite shocking. But. . .they actually expect people
would be eat this?
'The scientific literature on DNA fate includes a series
of papers that demonstrate significant persistence of DNA
following its consumption. It is important to emphasise that
these studies are not focused on transgenes and they are relevant
to the fate of all consumed DNA. This data suggests that intact
DNA may survive in the gastro-intestinal tract, cross the
gut epithelium, enter the blood stream and interact with mammalian
cells.' Page 93.
But the government actually proposes to release this into
the environment, an allow it to be fed to our children? That
'scientists' would even risk this, when we have perfectly
safe and healthy food to eat, is very strange.
On the basis of the evidence we have, which is rather sketchy:
The very least your report appears to recommend, is that since
we do not really know, it would be prudent to treat GMO with
extreme caution. Which means, not growing GM crops commercially.
And certainly not eating them.
Finally, there is the matter of whether it is right to alter
the structure of nature to better suit ourselves, at all.
Some people, Tony Blair for example, say we should judge GM
on the basis of the science alone. Although on that, they
would be defeated: Since we do not know enough, and perhaps
we presume too much. But the reality is, we cannot judge this
on the science alone. Like a gene in an organism, science
is not an insular entity. It is very important to remember
that science will always be less than nature. Failure is the
presumption to believe we can control that which created us.