View from the fence

Social, environmental and economic issues surrounding GM foods, and the latest news


Scientific research done by companies – please share your thoughts!

My last post was about the differences between businesses and charities, now I want to consider businesses and scientific literature.

Peer-reviewed research is my main source of reliable evidence, but I am always uneasy if I use research done by companies. Is this logical? It has been vetted for publication in the same way as work done by universities – it’s not as if I’m reading spin on a company’s website. Continue reading


Businesses and charities – what’s the difference?

Anyone searching for the #gmo hashtag on Twitter could be forgiven for thinking that nobody in the world supports GM unless Monsanto pays them – I have even had a LinkedIn message from someone speculating that I might order Monsanto to ‘put a hit on him’. I believe this paranoid mistrust of business is damaging to an intellectual debate. In my what worries you about GM poll my vote was that I was very worried about the social/economic aspects of genetic modification in agriculture, and I also know that global businesses have committed serious crimes. But I think we need to remember that:

  • Charities have to make money just as much as businesses do
  • Some businesses bring us amazing things
  • Just because your primary motivation is to make the world a better place, it doesn’t mean that you don’t end up making things worse

Continue reading

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What can feeding GM foods to animals tell us about toxicity?

Next Wednesday (15th January) we are all invited to take part in an online Q&A on ‘How useful are animal feeding studies in plant research?’

Since Seralini’s toxicology paper was retracted, there have been lots of calls for more studies where GM food is fed to animals to assess its safety for humans. The Q&A is a chance for people to ask any questions about whether feeding studies are a sensible precaution to determine whether our food is safe, or a misleading waste of money.  Continue reading