Oh, I wish he would have used a comparison other than “climate change” – virtually anything scientifically sound would have done but his target audience uses “climate change” interchangeably with “catastrophic anthropogenic climate change”, not realizing that the former is a fact while the latter is nonsense.
A PRE-EMINENT Australian crop scientist and the former head of the world wheat breeding centre has launched a scathing attack on green groups opposed to the wider use of genetically modified crops, accusing them of scientific hypocrisy.
Tony Fischer queried yesterday why “irrational minority groups” were prepared to accept scientific evidence that climate change was occurring, but ignored or refuted the science that backs GM crops as completely safe to grow and consume.
Dr Fischer, an honorary fellow with CSIRO Plant Industry division and former director of the international wheat and maize centre in Mexico, said GM varieties of maize, soybean, cotton, lucerne, sugarbeet and canola were now grown on 150 million hectares of land around the world without posing any problems to health.
He praised the federal government for moving to encourage community acceptance and fast-track the planting of more genetically modified crops in Australia in the effort to meet growing food demand.
The Gillard government released its National Food Plan this week, with greater foreign investment in the farm and food sector and the faster adoption of agricultural innovations, including GM crops.
Dr Fischer said modern crop varieties bred through sophisticated genetic selection and engineering techniques posed no threat to public health and must be used in the quest to double world food production by 2050.
He said the continued opposition to GM crops, by organisations such as Greenpeace and Gene Ethics, had no scientific basis and only served to confuse the public.
GM opponents, including Gene Ethics director Bob Phelps, claim the benefits – such as disease resistance – have been oversold by chemical and seed companies, and their potential risks ignored.
South Australia and Tasmania ban the growing of all GM crops, while their use is allowed in Western Australia, NSW and Victoria.
Most domestic cotton farmers use GM varieties of cotton and about one quarter of canola grown here is now GM.