An editorial which appeared in The Independent this week must be commended for hitting the nail on the head in discussing the reasons why GM technology has not yet taken hold in the areas where it is needed the most. As the author writes, The anti-GM lobby is holding back a scientific advancement that could change the world for the better.
GM technology has the potential to alleviate malnutrition and disease in the developing world. Most recently, British researchers have devised a technique to wipe out malaria using GM technology to manipulate the genes of the male Anopheles mosquito, resulting in a sire who can only father male offspring (it s only the females that bite and spread the disease). Researchers have designed a GM banana, to be grown in Uganda by 2020, that contains higher levels of beta-carotene and could potentially wipe out vitamin A deficiency. And of course, there s golden rice. But the sad story is that no golden rice was grown last year. The reason?
Much of the blame for this sorrystate of affairs must be laid at the door of the anti-GM lobby ¦We need to grasp all tools to meet that challenge [feeding 9.5 billion people] and not discard one of the most promising on the shaky grounds of dogma.
If you have not yet had a chance to check out ACSH s publications on the subject, make sure to do so. They can be found here.