A Conversation for H.I.P. - The Environment.

Bring on the GM crops!

Post 1

Scottish Guy

Having studied biology and the genetic manipulation of plants in some detail, it is my informed opinion that genetically modified plants are harmless to people and to the environment, and that both stand to gain enormously from the use of genetic manipulation technologies.


Bring on the GM crops!

Post 2

Sick Bob. (Most recent incarnation of the Dark Lord Cyclops. Still lord and master of the Anti Squirrel League and Keeper of c

I think that if GM crops were tested properly they would be completely harmless and very useful, especially in needed areas like producing crops for third world countires and the like.
However I think they have got a bad name becasue one bad batch was grown, without proper testing and without proper safety procedure and therefore caused the public to mistrust anyone connected with the entire project.
GM could be great, but it's acceptance has been harperred by a government that cuts corners. We have to be responsible with the new technology but that doesn't mean that we should abondon it because of one stupid setback.
And if it boosts the credibility of my opinion at all, I've just finished first year biology at the University of Glasgow.


Bring on the GM crops!

Post 3

Vic

I don't know how true this is or even where i heard it from but ...
A while back i heard that companies manipulated plants to produce a better yield but could not re-fertilise themselves i.e they would only last a year before the farmers had to buy more of the expensive seeds and sow them again. I also heard that these seeds were mainly sold in developing countries to poor farmers.

Like i said i don't know any truth behind this subject but if anyone knows anything about it i'd like to hear from them.

vic


Bring on the GM crops!

Post 4

Scottish Guy

Genetic modification, by the popular meaning of the word (putting salmon genes in strawberries, etc) usualy produces fertile plants that can reproduce like normal crops. The process you're thinking of is hybridisation - one of the earliest forms of genetic modification (dating back thousands of years). Hybridisation involves crossing two different species (eg. a horse and a donkey to produce a mule, or wild barley and domestic barley to produce drought resistant barley that can be grown in arid environments) to produce an infertile hybrid possessing some of the qualities of both parents (drought resistance and a high yield). These hybrids must be bred from the parent plants each year, since they cannot reproduce by themselves, but the advantages (actually being able to grow stuff where you live, rather than farming dust) generally outweigh this disadvantage.


Bring on the GM crops!

Post 5

Vic

hybridisation, thank you for clearing that up a little for me. However i'm sure i heard about some dodgy deals going on where poor farmers were forced to buy the modified grain at a high price and then had to keep buying it again year after year as it was infertile, i'll try to look into that
ta


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