Monitor: The Sunday papers consider the safety of genetically modified food

All the News of the World The Sunday papers consider the safety of genetically modified food

MINISTERS AND many scientists are angrily baffled about the country's fear of GM foods. Here is a hugely powerful new science, a job-creating potential force for good, and the British are shunning it. To be "against" biotechnology puts you with people who were against trying to circumnavigate the globe, develop railways or send radio messages. (Andrew Marr) The Observer

GRADUALLY THE truth about the threat to wildlife (and, in the long run, to us) from genetically modified crops is leaking out. GM corn in America is killing at least one species of butterfly. How much damage has to be done before the GM fanatics admit they are trying to persuade us to take a giant leap in the dark? (Norman Tebbit) The Mail on Sunday

AMBIGUITIES LIE behind the claims and counter claims. It is true that GM technology offers plants with new resistance to pests, so fewer chemicals will be needed. But in the case of GM soya, US farmers now use increased volumes of even more toxic chemicals than before, because the crop is resistant to them and everything else is not.

In the Third World, GM crops offer the possibility of feeding the starving, but they would probably also drive the poorest people off their land to make way for those who can afford the new technology. The key questions is: will the benefits outweigh the disadvantages?

The Independent on Sunday

THE DIVISION of expert opinion about the way biotechnology is advancing is bound to make us seek reassurances. Downing Street should stop trying to manipulate the debate. Caution and a lot more research are needed before we can reach a responsible judgement.

The Sunday Times

WHEN THE opponents of genetic modification start wheeling out one particular species of butterfly as proof of a major threat to wildlife, one cannot help wondering about their motives.

(Auberon Waugh)

The Sunday Telegraph

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