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Driven by science

Farmers Guardian
(UK) March 30, 2001 Pg. 37

SCIENCE and not emotion should be the driving force behind biotechnology, according to leading US biotechnology specialist.

Speaking in London, Professor C.S. Prakash, director of the Center of Plant Biotechnology Research at Tuskegee University, Alabama, said there were significant environmental as well as commercial benefits to be gained from GM crops.

Prof Prakash said in the UK, GM crops would lead to a reduction in pesticide use as well as fuel. He stressed that the US Government had adopted a science-based approach and found that risks attached to GM material were no different than conventional stock.

"We have very high standards of food safety and regulation in the US. We have done more than 25,000 field tests with these crops and not one single issue of alarm has been raised.

"Today's use of genetic modification is no different from the practices carried out by plant breeders over the centuries. It is only that we are now able to speed up that process," he claimed.

And he stressed that consumers, in time, would see the benefits of improved food safety, reduced toxins and allergens and enhanced nutrition from the GM crops.


Copyright 2001 Miller Freeman UK Ltd