Letter: GM common sense

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Richard Hornsby (letter, 7 June) sums up everything that is rotten about the arguments in favour of genetically modified food.

He wishes to confine the debate to scientific arguments, yet gives none to support his claims. The fact is that at present an analysis of the risks and benefits of GM food is not a scientific process, because there is no experimental evidence of either the long-term benefits or the long- term dangers.

One might ask why the profits from a speedy release of GM plants outweigh the necessity of a long-term environmental study. One might also ask how the hungry of the Third World will benefit, when we already pay to destroy surplus food.

By all means let us hear the debate. But spare us the hypocrisy of championing a "scientific argument" you were never intending to examine.

HANBURY HAMPDEN-TURNER

Fulham, London

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