Just a comment I wrote originally in response to an article in The Ecologist, which now seems to have been pulled. But never mind it can still be found on the GM Watch website
Personally I'm very suspicious of GM . I certainly wouldn't choose to eat it given a choice , which I have since I'm fortunate enought to live in a country where nobody is starving .
Rothamsted gives us a burning question. Is Non-Violent Direct Action justified ? From reading the above my inchoate though firm belief is that it is not.
Yes, the LM mob make uncomfortable bedfellows , but I don’t see how their place in all this tells us anything about the safety or otherwise of the trial, which is the key issue . Same with Moloney and his past links with Monsanto. Bringing up Monsanto is misleading because Monsanto have nothing to do with this trial . And I don't doubt that under current conditions it would be hard to sell the wheat, but consumer demand isn’t an indicator of safety either.
There's an awful lot of froth in Jonathan Matthews argument with no killer point to justify activist's claims to be 'decontaminating' the site. Farmer Smith gets closest to the mark but his main question is economic . The question of whether the trial would contaminate the UK's wheat suppply is also apt , and it's been addressed by reference to an incident involving the US rice supply. I'm not qualified to consider the merits and demerits of that argument but the conclusion "triggering a massive market loss, as a result of GM rice trials" strongly suggests those concerns amount to loss of consumer confidence rather than some feared viral strain of wheat taking hold of England's green and pleasant land.
If there was a scientific debate about the safety of this GM trial I'd support the Direct Action in principle. But a debate on Newsnight between activists and academics doesn't meet that criteria.
These are interesting times. I'm not sure I get Jonathan Matthews point that 'the Rothamsted scientists seem content to gamble our food security...' but I do wonder how Green concerns that scientists have got it wrong in GM are compatible with the very real alliance between science and Greens in climate.