Still not clear about risks involved

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 July, 2000, 12:00am

The decision by ParknShop and Wellcome supermarkets to support a voluntary labelling scheme related to genetically-modified (GM) foods is definitely a step in the right direction.

It is absolutely amazing what genetic engineering can do nowadays, in terms of increasing yields and improving resistance to pests and disease. However, without fully understanding the full impact of GM products, we are exposing ourselves to potential dangers which we do not yet fully understand.

The negative impact of GM agricultural products is already evident in many countries, for example the 'terminator seed' and the suggestion that monarch butterflies have been killed by GM corn in North America.

Scientific studies show that some GM foods are toxic, some may trigger an allergic response caused by foreign genes and others can lead to a resistance to life-saving antibiotics.

Furthermore, the corporate control of much genetically-modified organisms research means that profit is often the prime motive behind that research. Hunger is not a result of lack of food, but of poor distribution of food. It is possible to feed the world without GM foods.

We must be extremely cautious before we embrace any new technology and GM products are no exception.