Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Genetically Modified Foods Needed But Caution Justified

The Washington Post reported that a few traditional environmental groups have sued to prevent additional tests of genetically modified (GM) foods in Hawaii. Isn't there a disconnect between mainstream environmental groups implicit support of stem cell research and opposition to GM foods? Of course if you believe that plants and animals are the equals of humans then it probably makes sense. AAEA believes GM foods can provide signficant contributions to feeding the hungry, particularly in certain African and other undeveloped countries, via drought resistant crops. Moreover, new therapeutic drugs can be produced through GM crops. Mainstream enviro groups oppose all GM foods and use every opportunity available to kill the technology. We believe there should be strict regulation and oversight of all GM foods.

The Hawaii experiment involves Agriculture Department (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) permitting of a project using corn and sugar can plants to produce drugs for vaccines against AIDS and hepatitis B. Opposing groups are complaining that the oversight did not include potential impacts on endangered species. It was an open air test on 800 acres on four Hawaiian islands and opposing groups maintain that such tests should remain in laboratories.

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