"GM Crops are Scientifically Unsound," says former GM crop scientist
GM Crops are Scientifically Unsound
Dear Professor Prakash
As a former GM crop scientist involved in pest resistance I am intrigued by the comments of Dr. Patrick Moore who states "the campaign of fear now being waged against genetic modification is based largely on fantasy and a complete lack of respect for science and logic". The reason for my intrigue is that I abandoned a career in GM research because I came upon a rather simple idea that appeared to prove that the current generation of GM crops were scientifically unsound. I present it below.
All bio-engineered organisms created in a laboratory environment are done so under strict containment conditions, thus, preventing the escape and proliferation of untested experimental bio-engineered organisms with unknown consequences. These practises are followed in all regulated bio-laboratories for the stated safety reasons.
However, it is proposed by scientists to release GM crops into the environment without biological controls on artificial transgene dispersal. Further to this artificial bio-engineered gene constructs will also undergo mutation and evolution to an end we are not aware of, making safety assessment of GM crops a snapshot theoretical exercise lacking in longevity. One cannot safety assess what has not yet evolved.
It appears that the safety guidelines so rigourously practised by scientists under laboratory conditions are not proposed to be expanded and practised in the wider environment in relation to releases of bio-engineered GM crops.
Could you explain this apparent double standard in scientific safety conduct? One might consider that even more stringent safety controls would be enforced in the natural environment than in the laboratory environment, after all we do not have a backup. Having thought of this it did create rather a scientific conundrum, leading to myself resigning from the field of research on scientific grounds.
Dr. James MacGregor
for more on Patrick Moore: http://www.gmwatch.org/profile1.asp?PrId=89