Genetically modified crops generate intense anger on both sides of the debate.
Those who oppose it, such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, cite the risk of some kind of unpredictable disastrous effect on Nature.
Those who argue in its favour point out that millions of children could be cured of blindness if genetically-modified rice were used to feed people in the third world. In fact, vitamin A-enhanced rice could prevent up to a third of the world’s child deaths. And that’s just one example of the benefits.
The stakes couldn’t really be higher on either side of the debate. It’s imperative that the world makes the right decision about this issue.
So here, I’m asking, “How do we make the decision?”
In 1783, the forward-thinking Monsieur de Vissery of Saint-Omer, France put up a lightning conductor on his house. Unfortunately his neighbours were more conservative in their beliefs and decided that the device would attract lightning, and was therefore a fire hazard to the district. They demanded its immediate removal.
What was to be done? In this case, the outcome was decided by a legal process. Experts were called and the Council of Arras, on hearing the evidence, decided in favour of permitting the lightning conductor.
But what about GM crops? Who should decide that? Protestors? Scientists? Politicians? Or lawyers?