Soil Association response to ‘GM Plants: Questions and Answers’ – The Royal Society
By Soil Association | Global Research
This Royal Society document about GM crops, like every other one they have issued over the last nearly 20 years, argues in favour of GM. Everyone knows that there are at least some scientific controversies, and disagreements about evidence concerning GM crops. None of these are mentioned in the Royal Society document. This may not be surprising, given that there are no scientists who have consistently expressed scepticism about the application of GM technology to agriculture listed among the authors. Scientific enquiry normally proceeds by open discussion of disagreements about evidence – the Royal Society’s involvement in GM has been consistently one-sided, ignoring scientists with dissenting views, and overlooking facts which do not fit with the views of supporters of GM crops.
For example, in this latest document, on page 17, there are glaring omissions in the brief discussion of one of the two most widely grown GM crops, those with the Bt insecticide engineered into the plant. Figures are given for claimed reduction in insecticide use as a result of the use of these GM crops, but no acknowledgement is made of the large quantity of insecticide effectively present in all of the GM Bt crops that are grown worldwide – so the figure given for an alleged reduction in insecticide use is misleading. Nor is there any mention of an unexpected impact of the use of these GM crops, namely the emergence of new insect pests to take the place of those killed by the Bt insecticide in the crop – these new pests have proved more difficult to kill than the one they replaced. Finally, no mention is made of the unfolding tragedy of GM Bt cotton use in India, where there have been widespread crop failures due to attacks by the pink bollworm, which GM Bt cotton has proved unable to resist. This is leading to widespread moves away from GM cotton seeds in India, often with the support of State governments.
On page 18, the document reports on where GM crops are grown worldwide, without noting that these figures come from a GM industry source. Although figures for 2015 are cited, no mention is made of the significant fact that, for the first time in 15 or more years, there was a slight decrease in the area of GM crops grown worldwide in 2015.