Letter: GM food furore

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The Independent Culture
Sir: An aspect of GM foods that I find, frankly, frightening is that no one in government seems to understand or consider the risks to the environment.

I don't mean the risk that we will kill off our few remaining birds or insects, though that is quite serious enough. Nor that we might accidentally poison some people who are allergic to certain foods, though that is a disaster for those individuals.

What concerns me is the possibility of genes moving, from where we put them, into other species. Given the amount of mixing and churning that goes on in the microscopic world, this would appear to be quite feasible, and the result could quite conceivably be a variety of plagues never seen before.

Since the government is silent on this topic, I must assume that all is well. Still, a few details fascinate me. How exactly was the risk of such an outcome assessed? What possible blights were considered? Who calculated where genes could end up and what effect they would have there?

The price for getting this wrong could be one which all successive generations on the planet will have to pay. And for what? Square tomatoes?

NORMAN PATERSON

Anstruther, Fife

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