Saturday, August 16, 2008

Prince Charles Warns Against GM Food Genetic Contamination

After watching the interview of Benjamin Fulford by Project Camelot, this is all I need to ensure a very disturbed day. I don't believe that Prince Charles has been misinformed by Friends of the Earth, the Soil Association, et al. And how are these scientists so sure? There are enormous consequences to getting this wrong and GM is on the wrong track for our future well being. Listen to his angst-ridden plea below! (Emphasis marks are mine.)

The Prince of Wales has been plunged into an extraordinary row with scientists after they accused him of seriously abusing his position over his comments on GM food. Prince Charles sparks debate over GM crops claims Prince Charles warns GM crops risk causing biggest-ever environmental disaster The Prince of Wales: 'If that is the future, count me out' Hear the Prince's passionate outburst. (13 Aug 08 - Prince Charles responds to a question from Jeff Randall about wanting to turn the farming clock back during an exclusive interview) Scientists reacted angrily to the warning from the Prince in his interview in the Daily Telegraph that GM crops risked causing the world's worse environmental disaster. MPs accused him of being a "luddite" who risked inflicting starvation on millions of people in Africa. But the Prince will be heartened by the revelation that there is now only one GM trial ongoing in Britain - in Cambridgeshire - and there are no plans to licence any more. Some 54 have been conducted since they were approved by the government in 2000. Prof Ottoline Leyser, a plant geneticist at the University of York who is a Fellow of the Royal Society, said: "I am disappointed with the whole environmental movement. "This is rabid anti GM. Misguidedly demonising GM results in the real issues being sidelined, creating the very problems that Prince Charles is trying to address. "There are several issues that have been muddled together, resulting in serious dangers to the future direction of agriculture. "He has confused the dominance of multinational companies and its consequences for food security with the use GM in agriculture. If there were a total world ban on GM tomorrow, it would have no effect at all on the dominance on big multinational companies." GM trials given approval in the UK Johnjoe McFadden, professor of molecular genetics at the University of Surrey, said: "Prince Charles is talking biased baloney. "Prince Charles, like many wealthy people, has no concept of the hardships of other parts of the world. He wants to retain his vision of a rural idyll by telling the poor to eat organic cake while he pours wine into the fuel tank of his sports car. "He is using the privileged position of a prince of the realm to try to influence us with a one sided, irresponsible, view of food technology. He is like a romantic 19th century poet writing and painting pictures of rural life. "Environmentalists have been saying for years all we need to do is redistribute wealth to feed the poor. It has not happened so we have to produce more food. The most effective way is through GM crops." Professor Alison Smith, senior researcher at John Innes Centre, Europe's premier plant science laboratory, said: "I was shocked and saddened to read what Prince Charles said. Shocked because it was so ill-informed, one-sided and generally negative. "Saddened because the Prince is in a position to lead this country in solving some of the massive problems he identifies. He could bring together our world-class scientists and agricultural experts to catalyse constructive debate and action that would benefit the UK and the rest of the planet. "Instead, he indulges in diatribes in which he appears to blame the problems of the planet on a single technological advance that he has completely misunderstood." The Prince, in the Daily Telegraph, challenged the view that GM foods will be crucial to the developing world. He said: "What we should be talking about is food security, not food production - that is what matters and that is what people will not understand." But the Royal Society, in a statement said: "Food security is an important issue. We do need to evaluate a range of techniques and technologies which have been proposed for enhancing food-crop production and the Royal Society is currently undertaking a study looking at this." In his interview the Prince accused large corporations of conducting experiments with nature, which had "gone seriously wrong". He was backed by Patrick Holden from the Soil Association who said: "If we go down this path I think we will put this country at risk. There could be a period of great difficulty in the next 10 or 20 years." Mike Childs, campaign director for Friends of the Earth, said: "GM crops will not solve the food crisis - and forging ahead with an industrialised farming system will continue to fail people and the environment around the world. Des Turner, a Labour MP on the Commons science committee, said: "Prince Charles has got a way of getting things absolutely wrong. It's an entirely Luddite attitude to simply reject them out of hand." Phil Willis, the chairman of the Commons science committee, said the Prince's "lack of scientific understanding" would "condemn millions of people to starvation in areas like sub-Saharan Africa".
Suzan

4 comments:

Earthmother said...

All these spouters muddying up something they actually know nothing about. A FARMER, a real one, KNOWS about pollination and cross-breeding. I takes no scientist to discover that if a "problem" crop accidentally crosses with a good one, the seeds resulting may do ANYTHING including not grow at all. Bees pollinating crops will travel approximately 2 miles in ANY direction from their hive. The WIND can carry pollen over more than a mile.

These "corporate farmers" can spout all they want about how much they know or how great their altered seeds are, but nature does what it does, regardless of what they say.
And a REAL farmer knows that tampering too much with the natural balance can and probably will have some serious consequences if not kept in check. It is hard enough to be an heirloom seed saver in a world where all your neighbors grow hybrids. Now add GM seeds to the mix and yes, it could absolutely ruin agriculture as we know it.

David Gerard said...

The point Charles missed is that GM is for Monsanto to take ownership of everything.

Dave Dubya said...

Corporate dominance of government is not enough. They want to control nature itself

It's an interesting contrast between Old Europe's royalty and American aristocrats.

Aristocratic American elitists like the Bushes and McCains are wholly entwined with corporate power.

Suzan said...

Thanks for your comments, guys!

You are so on target, Earthmother!

And yes, David, Monsanto is the devil in the details. This issue is not a new one, and my question is what is being done to combat this historic malfeasance? Or have they already burrowed in so deeply that we are their, well, you know the word, rhymes with witches?

Dave! Thanks for the insight and almost too subtle take on these mindless profiteers. I would have mentioned that the education system that McCain and the Bushes have promulgated makes the lack of understanding and thus public acceptance of these issues by the poorly educated populace here easy to comprehend. I surmise that they hoped Prince Charles had an equally poor educational experience.

Sorry!

Suzan

It's an interesting contrast between Old Europe's royalty and American aristocrats.

Aristocratic American elitists like the Bushes and McCains are wholly entwined with corporate power.