Letter: Engineered crops

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Does Dan Verakis, Monsanto's public affairs manager (Right of Reply, 11 August) really think that the public will be reassured by research taking "up to three years". The experience of this century - asbestosis, pneumoconiosis, smoking, thalidomide - is that any amount of testing cannot predict side-effects, which often take years or decades to manifest themselves. Will Mr Verakis be around in 2050 to wring his hands and protest that no one could have predicted the long-term effects of genetic interference with our food?

ANDREW C BLUNDY

London SE7

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