We’ve had two weeks of questions and discussion on GM Food. We’re not accepting any more new questions, but the comments will remain open for another two weeks at least. Please do add to the discussions. We started this Zone to provide a place for constructive dialogue about the important and contentious issue of GM Food. I think we have succeeded. I want to thank the experts for the time and energy they have spent in answering the 31 questions we published and in contributing in such detail to the discussions in comments. I also want to thank everyone who has contributed with questions and in the comments. We expected the moderation of the project to be difficult, but we were very wrong. There was a very small handful of comments that were off-topic or attacking the person but it was a very small proportion. We want to assess how … Continue reading
We started this discussion last Monday by asking our experts what the main issue is for feeding the world in 2050. Each expert gave a detailed answer and it is clear that no-one thinks genetically modified food is THE “silver bullet” answer. There seemed to be consensus that a range of changes in agriculture are required. Intercropping, better access to inorganic fertiliser, reduction of food waste and infrastructure were all mentioned. Commenters suggested a change in diet, contested the assertion that GM crops gave higher yields, discussed permaculture and even population control. A question about GM vs organic in terms of taste and healthiness sparked a lot of debate, with over 30 comments. Taste was regarded as very subjective and not particularly relevant. Dividing lines emerged on healthiness. People cited studies to back up their positions, but there was disagreement about their validity. It was pointed out that non-GM varieties … Continue reading
We’ve sent through the first set of questions to the experts late last night. They range from “What is gm food?” through to a request for a study that shows the use of GM is safe. Questions about the contamination of other species and the reduction of choice that would lead to figure highly. Elsewhere the responses to the opening question about feeding the world in 2050 have sparked off a short discussion. If you read something you disagree with, or that needs backing up or challenging then please leave a comment on the page. If you want to know more about this I’m a Scientist discussion please check out the FAQ.
This is a message for the students from the main I’m a Scientist event who are invited to take part in this extra zone. As well as the normal I’m a Scientist for schools, for the next fortnight we’re running a special event on genetically modified (GM) foods. This event is for everyone, not just school students. It’s for discussing and finding out about GM – there’s no voting, no evictions and no live chats. GM is another of those things (like climate change), which people are arguing about, and decisions will be made that effect lots of people, but especially young people who will be stuck with the consequences in the future. Sorry about that. We think you should have the chance find out more and decide what you think about GM. We would like you to take part in the GM Food Zone. Just visit https://gmfood.imascientist.org.uk, using your … Continue reading
The debate about GM Food is not simple. It’s been going on for decades and there are a large and diverse number of opinions on the subject. Some of the people holding opposing views are sometimes distrustful of each other. It is important for this Q&A discussion to be comprehensive and balanced. We need to have an group of experts that can discuss all aspects of the GM Food debate. We need to ensure that a wide range of views are represented. It’s not been quick or easy but we’ve done the following to try and ensure that we’ve got the right experts: Nominations – From the outset we’ve invited nominations from anyone. We had 66 nominations from a wide range of people. Scientists, campaigners, dialogue specialists and interested members of the public. We contacted groups who both support GM Food and those who oppose it and asked for their … Continue reading
Selecting the right group of experts for this event was always going to be tricky. We had to find the right people, we had to ensure the right balance of views about GM and we had to make sure that just six people could answer questions on a very wide range of issues around GM Food. It’s no small undertaking. Our first step was to appoint an Advisory Panel. We, at I’m a Scientist HQ, knew that we didn’t have the in-depth knowledge of GM that was going to be required to select the expert group. We were delighted that all three of the panel committed themselves to help us out. They are: Caroline Allen – Veterinary surgeon and Green Party Policy Committee member working on science, food and agriculture policy. David Baulcombe – Regius Professor of Botany, Royal Society Research Professor, University of Cambridge James Wilsdon – Professor of … Continue reading