The revolution will not be televised


At present the UK government regulates genetically modified food out of the market. This was done following an ill-informed scare campaign backed by environmental lobbyists, encouraged by a complicit media and left unchallenged by weak-willed politicians. With the global food crisis, it is surely time for politicians in this country to lead the way by embracing biogenetic food, the latest development in the Green Revolution.

It is telling that the term "Green Revolution" is now often used counter to its original meaning. Instead of the agricultural revolution beginning around the middle of the last century, it is increasingly being used as synonym of the confused ideas behind organic and sustainable agriculture. Such backwards thinking will not meet the increased demand and consequent rising cost of food. It will not be to the benefit of the farmers and consumers in this country, nor those living in abject poverty in the poorest countries of the world.

As Norman Borlaug – the geneticist and plant pathologist responsible for saving the lives of over a billion people in countries such as Mexico, India and Pakistan – said in addressing those on the other side of the argument:

They've never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things.

The GM debate needs to be had again. This time those in favour of GM food should have the loudest voice and those against it in the past should be contrite in the face of the obvious falsity of their doomsday predictions.