Spokesperson for the Green Party
It was a monk, Gregor Mendel, who first controlled the transfer of genetic material between generations using a process we now call artificial selection.
Pretty much everything we eat has been influenced by Mendel’s discovery.
Scientists can now control the chemical basis of artificial selection. Mendel discovered a treasure trove, but he also opened Pandora’s box.
To work, evolution needs variation. Eliminate that variation (called cloning), and one embarks on a voyage into a genetic cul de sac. Our food production systems are already there.
Genetic engineering takes us into the dead-end lane at the end of the road. For example, engineering resistance to a herbicide into a food plant allows use of even more herbicide. The treasure is improved weed management. The true environmental costs of such chemical assaults are unknown.
Come hear Green MP Steffan Browning discuss the implications of genetic engineering at the Wesley Centre, 13th Ave, 7.30pm, Wednesday August 8.