Once again BBC Radio 4 champions GM

Former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, Robert McCredie May (Baron May of Oxford)

Former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, Robert McCredie May (Baron May of Oxford), was allowed by Radio 4 to imply that opposition to GM was based solely on misinformed concerns about the effects on the consumer. This ignores a huge body of evidence against GM. This is the second unbalanced attack on the opposition to GM on Radio 4 in the last few days.

I could scarcely believe my ears.  Barely a few days after it last offered a platform to the pro-GM lobby to give its views unopposed, BBC Radio 4 has done it again.  Are we being softened up for a big pro-GM move by the UK Government and its corporate backers?  I was bitterly disappointed to hear the former Chief Scientific Adviser Robert May spout the usual distorted nonsense on GM during the course of an episode of The Life Scientific, implying that opposition to GM is based solely on ill-informed concerns about the effect on the consumer.  Well,  (1) this is not the main reason many of us are opposed to GM, and (2) there is good science to suggest that GM crops are not nutritionally identical to non-GM varieties and can be dangerous.

Expanding on the first point, I am chiefly opposed to GM crops because of the effects on the environment (not least genetic diversity) and their socio-economic impact on the farmers pressured to buy them.  The range and depth of evidence against GM is considerable, as illustrated by the headings in this 2010 report by Friends of the Earth:

one genetically modified crops – the global picture
1.1 gm crops are not being grown to feed people
1.2 resistance to gm crops remains strong
1.3 data tricks
1.4 double counting
1.5 inflating the figures
1.6 ghost hectares
1.7 exaggerating the impact on small farmers
two promises, promises – the claims of the biotechnology industry
2.1 unfulfilled promise
four gm crops in europe
4.1 another year of decreasing gm acreage in the european union
4.2 public opinion
4.3 gmo–free regions
4.4 gm-free labels for non-gm animal feed a big hit
4.5 gmo crops in the pipeline
three gm crops in the united states
3.1 official data from US shows escalating pesticide use on gm crops
3.2 gm crops lock farmers into expensive and unsustainable practices
3.3 monopoly control of biotech companies in the US – a cautionary tale
3.4 US justice department initiates anti-trust investigations
five gmos in the southern cone
5.1 introduction
5.2 the advance of gm crops in the southern cone
5.3 the commercial release of gmos in the southern cone – questionable authorizations
5.4 increased use of pesticides
5.5 land grabbing and deforestation
5.6 contamination
5.5 stakeholders
six the new promise: gm crops and climate change
6.1 the solution is not more of the same
6.2 examining the evidence on gm and climate change
6.3 gm threatens real solutions to climate change
6.4 agro-ecological systems can tackle climate change

See what GM has done to farmers in India:

In conclusion, I call on the BBC to stop cheerleading for this overwhelmingly harmful technology, which exists to make a few people at the top of unscrupulous organisations such as Monsanto very rich at the expense of everyone else and the environment. The BBC must stop working as unpaid propagandists for big business (portraying those opposed to GM as “anti-science”) and offer a fair platform to the many scientists and activists who have good reason to oppose it.

About biowrite

I am a writer specialising in non-fiction, particularly in assisting people with their biographies.
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