Letter: Food of the future

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Sir: The fundamental question is whether there is any change in the biochemistry of a plant resulting from the insertion of a foreign gene which might lead to the formation of toxic substances. Plant poisons do not all produce immediate toxic effects, but may produce damage when eaten over a long period of time. Until the producers of genetically modified foods can without equivocation say that no toxic molecules can be formed, genetically modified foods must not be eaten.

That people would be wary of GM foods was amply demonstrated by the fact that in order to get GM soya into our foods against our wishes, the Americans deliberately mixed the GM soya with ordinary soya so that it was not possible to separate it. They knew full well that no one would accept the modified soya.

Professor A S MILTON

Department of Pharmacology

University of Cambridge