The first of the letters below is particularly telling. It's from Professor Adrian Gibbs of the Australian National University. Prof Gibbs is a well known plant virologist and Fellow of the Academy of Science.
For the article reporting the Chief Scientist's attack on GM critics, to which Prof Gibbs is responding, see http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=7877
Letters to the Editor, The Age (Australia), July 22 2007 http://www.theage.com.au/text/articles/2007/05/21/1179601325360.html
Ignorance isn't bliss
"GM CRITICS ignorant, says chief scientist" (The Age, 16/5). He's right, of course.
In as much as his employer, the CSIRO, and its commercial partners refuse to supply scientific evidence to back their claims that GM canola will bring more returns and no problems to Australian farmers, we are all ignorant.
So what? In these days of "conviction politics", when our political leaders will take us to war without evidence to support their convictions, we need "conviction scientists" to lead the new frontiers of science!
Adrian Gibbs, Yarralumla, ACT
Still going hungry
LAUDABLE though Tony Chew's desire to feed the starving is (Letters, 18/5), the owners of genetically modified foods don't - and won't - give their product away to those who need it. As always, they will sell the food to those who can afford to buy it; and the greater the market share they achieve, the higher those prices will climb. Monopolies always have that effect.
Moreover, accepted legal precedents regarding wind-drift, "accidental pollination" or "contamination" suggest that eventually it may not be legal to grow one's own food. The world's hungry would have no options.
Michael Collins, Moe
Let's wait for tests
THERE have been no substantial, long-term case studies on the effects of genetically modified foods on humans, and until there are, I am against the introduction of more of the "anti-nutritional" garbage, both written and ingested, with which we are bombarded. We must remember the saying: "You are what you eat." Personally, I'd rather not be genetically modified in any way, shape or form.
Mavis Urwin, Doncaster