A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Thank goodness for a GM cavalier.....

I have to confess that some of the anti-GM lobby come over as the most self-righteous and priggish puritans of the age. They are so earnest that I feel I have lost the will to live (self hanging imitations all round!). I thus found it refreshing to read Ross Clark in more cavalier mood in next week's The Spectator (October 25): 'GM may be good for you'. Thank goodness for a positive take! But Ross is clearly a brave man arguing that we should ignore the eco-brigade’s hysteria over genetically modified food. He will soon be classed as 'The Man of Blood' in po-faced puritan style! Here is an excellent passage from his piece:-

"Before rushing off to join Ms Tulip at the furrows, the eco-brigade might just care to study what the government scientists actually said. They have found nothing in GM food that directly harms any kind of wildlife. The reason there are fewer beasts found in GM fields is that fewer weeds grow there. By the same token, any form of farming can be said to be bad for wildlife in that were it not for crops, the land could be given over entirely to weeds. The preservation of nature is a noble aim, but not to the extent that the survival of particular butterflies in particular fields should be allowed to cast a veto over all agricultural improvement. Wouldn’t it be better if butterflies were provided with alternative habitats on field margins and nature reserves where they wouldn’t risk having their wings mangled by combine harvesters? One advantage of higher-yielding GM crops is that they would free up land for nature conservation." [My emphasis]. Good point.

Nettle tea, Ms Tulip? Philip.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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