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Nice article

Caroline, that is a great article. I think it is important to realise that most people are probably open to the technology, but are bullied by a loud shouting minority. The rather agressive anti-GM, anti company, anti business comments we sometimes see are from a very very small group of not very bright people (because otherwise they would write better). Such loud shouting minority needs to be compensated by a more outreaching attitude of the scientists. In this respect it is a shame that seed companies have made important blunders, like trying to prevent clear labelling of GM products. This made it look as if GM was suspicious. The wrong message when you want to introduce something new to the market. I always argued for labelling because it sends a much better message: "This product is good for you because it is GM". I have personally eaten a GM tomato with reduced pectinase levels, beautiful red colour and sweetness, yet maintaining the bite because the pectins aren't digested. That product could be advertised positively: "No need for modified starch as emulsifier/thickener, GM tomato have enough natural pectins to make a smooth ketchup!" If you don't tell people why something is good, why should they buy and eat it? It is also a shame that GM crops are mainly focussing on crop protection rather than manufacturing new products. Potatoes with increased protein content, or rice with increased vitamin content are not only easier to engineer but it is easy to see that you would not get such specific traits by accident (hoping for natural mutations). The scientific community needs to come up with more success-stories before the tide will turn, and the technology needs to be much better advertised.

Posted by Jurgen Denecke
04 February 2013 | 18h38

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Back to: Genetic engineering: It’s a technology, not an ideology

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