Letter: Stop US food giants

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Professor Pridham (letter, 25 June) has left me cold with his appeal to "let scientists take the lead in GM technology".

I heartily approve of science and greatly benefit from its applications (from computer technology to hay fever treatment). But we are a better educated, more cynical, public than 30 years ago, when such a "Trust me, I'm a scientist" appeal might have been effective.

We are alert to the multinationals with their artful PR departments always ready to soothe our troubled brows. GM technology is not, it seems, about generating profits by controlling seed supply and locking farmers into licensing schemes. No, it is about feeding the world. How foolish we are, those of us who thought failures of food distribution are largely due to political machinations. Good clean science is coming to the rescue!

I agree with the professor: safeguards are obviously needed, and ignoring scientists is not the answer. But appeals to let scientists take the lead are misjudged. The potential for power and profit from GM could make Microsoft look like a charity.

PETER HEAD

London W7

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