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Rethinking agriculture

The main danger of genetic modification is the control over agriculture it grants to transnational companies. We need to get back to first principles on farming

By Colin Tudge   December 2007

Dick Taverne is a clever man who has been led astray by hype. Genetic modification (GM) may have useful roles to play in agriculture, but it does not offer the bounty Taverne and his fellow enthusiasts believe it does. GM crops do not routinely outperform those bred by traditional means, and there has been no demonstration that GM crops can sustain their high performance in the real world, as opposed to the cosseted plots of the showpiece farm. More broadly, the good that GM might in principle do is far outweighed by the harm, in particular the control of world…

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