GM crops ban based on emotion not facts

 

Sir, – Dr Thomas McLoughlin’s excellent article makes for depressing reading (“Ban on GM crops is a blight on Irish agriculture”, Opinion & Analysis, January 31st).

The Government should review its prohibition of the commercial cultivation of GMO crops in Ireland. The ban may provide some short-term advantages in the marketing of Irish produce abroad , but it is based on emotion and spin, and flies in the face of the scientific facts.

In the longer term, ignoring the scientific facts will always be deleterious to a country. There is nothing less green about GM crops than any other crops. GM is just a more precise and efficient procedure for plant breeding. It is subject to very stringent EU regulation. Any new strain of crop whether GM or not needs to be scrutinised and could have deleterious health or environmental effects but this is equally true of non-GM and GM foods.

Closing off the possibility of using GM crops may actually damage the environment by maintaining high use of pesticides, and will in the longer term make Irish agriculture less competitive. Properly regulated use of GM plants would have many advantages for Ireland. Opposition to it ignores scientific fact.

The Government should base its legislation on facts,not on urban myth. – Yours, etc,

MARTIN CLYNES,

Professor Emeritus

of Biotechnology,

National Institute

forBiotechnology,

Dublin City

University,

Dublin 9.