Category Archives: GM

GM and GE

Last one for a while on GM.

One of the things I get asked about from time to time is what is commonly called “Genetically Modified” crops and animals – of which the uniformed press and individuals see (commonly said) as having “Frankenstein” risks.  It is, in their defence, true to say that all technology is two-edged.  Mistakes happen and when GM is done right, but in the wrong hands, it is potentially dangerous and immoral.  That, strange as it may seem, is why we should get involved. Genetic Engineering (GE) is dramatically more precise and accurate than “Dolly the Sheep” which was certainly a breakthrough.  With GE, we can now have “Gene Editing” and “Gene Snipping” which are dramatically more precise and safer. This means we can speed up the evolution of safer crops which are disease resistant and we will need less pesticides and animals can be healthier with less suffering and needing less veterinary treatments. We also need international agreements and supervision of it development and use, especially when applied to human development – which is already happening.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd.  1 March 19

Gene editing now!

If you would like to have bananas that have not had crop spray on them, get the gene edited ones that are coming.

Damion Carrington, Environment Editor of The Guardian reports; “The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review. More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

The analysis, published in the journal Biological Conservation, says intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines, particularly the heavy use of pesticides. Urbanisation and climate change are also significant factors.” This is why we have to use Genetic Engineering because it is now precise, safe and can eliminate the use of pesticides and push up food production. As example of this, see “Virus lurking inside banana genome has been destroyed with CRISPR gene editing” at https://www.newscientist.com/article/2192461-virus-lurking-inside-banana-genome-has-been-destroyed-with-crispr/

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd   22 February 19