The great GM miracle?
23rd January, 2008
The man on the phone said he was from the BBC. They were interested in interviewing me about my alleged involvement in crimes against humanity.
Possibly the deaths of millions. I stood accused, it emerged, of holding back the fight against poverty, disease, and hunger.
No laughing matter. Who was my accuser?
The person lining me up for the Pol Pot Award, apparently, was Lord Dick Taverne - the head of the lobby group Sense About Science.
By opposing GM, Taverne had told the programme makers, people like me blocked the products of this life-saving technology from reaching the starving millions. And others the BBC had spoken to had assured them that opposition to GM crops had even resulted in famine relief ships being turned back at sea by a southern African nation in the grip of terrible famine.
Radio 4’s Costing the Earth team, I was told, were coming to investigate.
The resulting programme went out last Thursday and it’s to the credit of the programme makers that they managed to cut through the hyperbole, peel back the rhetoric, and examine the actual factual basis of the claims being made by GM’s promoters.
And once they focused on the facts Lord Taverne and his pals came seriously unstuck. Take for instance, the Government’s recently retiring Chief Scientist, Prof....
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