My grandchildren have made me realise, all over again, that we need to be wiser about how we use and abuse our world. GM food and crops scare the grandmother in me. GM in this case stands for ‘genetically-modified’ where recombinant-DNA technology is used to insert genes from one species into the genetic material of another species. In this way, a bacterium gene is inserted into a maize (corn) plant. More recently cisgenesis has been (mis)used to describe where genes are transferred between species that are more closely related and to suggest that cisgenesis is not transgenesis. What is described as cisgenesis is actually genetic engineering also known as transgenesis. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying. It appears to be a well-orchestrated ploy to avoid regulations applying to transgenic crops and food. Some scientists, including authors of peer-reviewed papers, are involved in these orchestrations.
GM food is a step too far beyond our understanding of how the earth works. GM crops growing in fields produce pollen and seeds that blow about, or are carried about by pollinator insects, and so GM crops in the open-air are uncontrollable. We just don’t know enough about the effects of GM crops and food on soil, on other plants, on soil-related microbes, on insects, on other animals, or on humans (including all our grandchildren). But we know that once introduced, GM crops cannot be recalled. We should not allow GM crops or food to be grown in Ireland until we (and the scientists) know enough to make good decisions about GM food technology.