We now have much more powerful methods of removing undesirable components from our food plants by gene manipulation, and to reject what is by far our best chance of dealing with this situation because it makes a few people feel uneasy is lunacy.
The possibilities are far-reaching. One that is particularly intriguing for the ruling classes is that it may now be possible to go back to pre- phylloxera vines. The European vine was virtually wiped out in the last century by phylloxera. It was only saved because an American root stock was found that was resistant to it, and grafting continues to this day. It is potentially possible to transfer the gene for resistance to phylloxera into the European vine and, we must hope, to do away with the need for grafting. I cannot wait to see what wine buffs make of this.
Professor MICHAEL P TOMBS
Pavenham, BedfordshireReuse content