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May
10

Next Cafe: Genetically-modified food crops: scary monsters or helpful friends?

Elements of genetic engineering

Elements of genetic engineering (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here in the UK, it’s now 13 years since the GM Nation debate created a highly charged atmosphere around the use of genetic modification in food crops. Since then, the prospect of climate change coupled with its likely effect on food insecurity in many regions of the global South has placed questions about the social acceptability of GM crops in a new context. In this Café, Dr Hilary Rogers (Cardiff University, Biological Sciences) and Karolina Rucinska (Cardiff University, Geography and Planning) introduce a discussion on the issues that now circulate around GM. What is the current thinking on the benefits and risks that GM crops may hold for industrialised countries, on the one hand, and for agricultural developing countries on the other? Has GM technology changed the way we think about agriculture and the causes of hunger? What are the ethical issues surrounding consumer choice?

Join us to explore these and other questions at The Gate on Tuesday 17 May from 8.00pm.

In the meantime, here’s an opinion piece on why the issues on which public debates on GM crops often focus are the wrong issues. Are public discussions of GM often just repetitions of opposing myths?

Here’s US TV host Jimmy Kimmel getting some vox pops:

And here’s Orchestral Manoeuvres in The Dark’s take…

You can also take our poll, below. Do you think GM crops might have a role to play in the future of agriculture? It’d be great if you could comment on why you voted ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (or maybe why you’re not sure one way or the other) using either the blog comments box below, or if you’re on Facebook, you can use the FB comments function.

Comments

1 comment

  1. Carol Ivory says:

    Genetic modification is a powerful tool in the production of new varieties of food plants and animals. Traits such as drought resistance, higher yields and incorporation of disease resistance can be affected at a much higher and more precise rate then with conventional plant and animal breeding.

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