GM crops – emotion and facts

 

Sir, – While Prof Martin Clynes (Letters, February 8th) and Dr Thomas McLoughlin (“Ban on GM crops is a blight on Irish agriculture”, Opinion & Analysis, January 31st) make excellent arguments based on scientific grounds, they miss a crucial point.

The aim of agriculture is to make food that people want to buy and eat. And such consumer decisions are anything but scientific.

Beliefs in gluten-free diets, that organic food tastes better, or in benefits attributed to “superfoods” and overhydration are easily and widely debunked, for example.

However, this makes no difference to their adherents who often have little interest in, or knowledge of, science.

Dietary choices are driven by instinct, marketing and appetite but often manipulated by fear and pseudoscience.

Becoming known as a producer of GM crops would mean that Irish produce would be avoided by large numbers of people, potentially at great cost, albeit for irrational reasons. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN O’BRIEN,

Kinsale,

Co Cork.