All you posters on the Science and Natural History thread might well be able to help, but I thought it might be sensible to make this a separate issue and avoid – I was going to say hijacking – the thread, but perhaps cluttering would be a less contentious word.
I'm not against GM foods per se but don't know much about them. Tony Blair was an enthusiast and I have the impression the present government is fairly pro. (Not that I trust either of them.) Also some new testing has been authorised in this country, so I'd like to be better informed before this becomes an issue again.
If genetic modification is used as a way of "speeding up" what would otherwise be achieved by selective breeding – say drought-resistant wheat gaining pest-resistant wheat genes – that seems to be a Good Thing. If genes are combined from species that could never breed naturally – like the colourful piglets with the jellyfish gene – that seems a Bad Thing.
If seeds have to be bought every year because the owners of the gene ensure that they are sterile – that seems like a Bad Thing, especially for subsistence farmers.
However, if the seeds are sterile, does this rule out the possibility of cross-contamination of conventional and organic crops. It seems that it doesn't. I don't understand.
If GM food is eventually to be sold in this country, I should like it to be labelled as such so that I can choose whether I want to buy it.
Is it correct that lots of animal fodder already contains GM produce?
Okay – now I have exposed my profound ignorance – help! Please talk to me as if I were about ten years old.
Irritating personality traits haven't softened - do friendships change?
Needed but feeling left out - do others feel the same?
Where were you on this day? - moon landing