GM Science Review - Comments on First Report

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Name: George Finch Location (optional): Date: 20 August 2003
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1. The effect of growing GM crops on the environment, in particular the soil and waterways.
Herbicide tolerant crops will always have to be sprayed with herbicide. We know from present experience with herbicide use that over time the herbicide becomes less effective as weeds become tolerant and have to be increased in strength and/or amount. This continuous and increasing use of herbicide will leak into the soil and eventually into our waterways. We already have experience of these effects. Growing GM crops will increase this damage to our environment.

2. Gene flow, by for example pollen distribution, is a serious potential danger in our small island with its rich diversity of crops. It is clear that people want organic food but it is not clear how much, over time genes from GM crops will be passed to organic crops. The organic farmers will have to be compensated but that does not restore the lost organic crop. How much better to spend the money on modern technological developments for organic growing - a developing technique that would be of great advantage to developing countries.

3. Advantage of growing GM crops in this country
It is difficult to see any advantage except for the companies that will have the monopoly of selling the seeds and the herbicides. The farmers are committed to those companies for their supplies for all time. It is doubtful if such a system would be cheaper or more productive. As can be seen by the growth in sales of organic produce people are willing to pay for a quality product they can trust.

George Finch