Sir: Your editorial, "Scientists sow the seeds of doubt over GM crops", and particularly Deborah Orr's comment piece, "The world hangs on a butterfly" (21 May), both contain a fundamental mistake in suggesting that what is needed in relation to GM crops is research and development. What is needed is to stop all environmental releases, including those inherent in field testing. This is why.
Pollution of non-GM crops by GMOs is inevitable if GM crops are grown - it matters not whether they are grown in small- or large-scale trials or commercially. (GMOs are self- reproducing and huge numbers of organisms can be created from even one "escape". So, when doing field trials we are still taking this risk.)
By growing GM crops, we would be denying the right of 96 per cent of the population who now say they do not want to eat GM food and that they want to have a GM-free food supply. We would also be denying choice to those who want to grow, buy and eat organic produce.
If no one wants to buy it or eat it, and everyone wants to ensure choice, GM food and crops must be banned.