Copy of email sent to the BBC Farming Today programme September 7 2008 from Lawrence Wright, a farmer in Devon
(full address sent to BBC)
I am sending this by email because the listener comment form on your website does not seem to be working. My comments, provoked by your programme on Saturday morning are as follows.
Your coverage of GM crops has been anodyne and has missed vital points:
Firstly, the adoption of GM crops presents us with the real possibility that one large Pharmaceutical Company will gain control of the World food supply.
The use of patent law combined with GM technology makes it very difficult for a farmer who has grown a GM crop to grow the same type of crop again without risking prosecution by the Pharmaceutical Company that produced the GM variety grown. Even farmers growing non GM crops within pollination range of a GM variety have been prosecuted for infringement of patent. Farmers that have fallen victim to the scam fall deeper and deeper into debt and under the control of the owner of the patents.
Secondly, the GM crops are not subject to rigorous safety testing. Tests on a number of GM foods, including 'Flavr Savr' tomatoes, 'Roundup-Ready' soya, 'Mon 863' maize, 'GT73' oilseed rape and even a GM pea with a kidney bean gene inserted, showed deleterious effects. Despite these results, the
USgovernment, followed by the UKand the rest of Europehave bypassed the need for 'rigorous safety testing' by giving approval under the 'substantial equivalence' procedure. This avoids the need for the kind of test that has produced inconvenient results.
Thirdly, the advice of the 'expert scientists' on this matter cannot be trusted. The only significant employers of research institutes and the research scientists are the very Pharmaceutical Companies that are engaged in the 'great game' involving GM crops. Thus it is suicidal for any research scientist to make comments unwelcome to these powerful interests. The example of Dr Arpad Pusztai illustrates what happens if they do: and why their advice cannot be regarded as reliable and impartial.
Please, stop following the agenda of the powerful promoters of GM and give us some properly impartial investigative reports.
Middle CampscottFarm Devon