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GE crops: Insights blog readers say no

4 May 2010

The opinion poll on GE crops is now closed. Over 2500 readers voted, and while it’s obviously not a scientifically conducted survey, your comments did cover the main points that come up in any debate on the subject.

But first the results. There is a clear majority for the view that GE crops are “A threat to biodiversity and have too many unknown consequences”, with 1431 votes for this option (54%) versus 1171 (44%) taking the view that these crops represent “A positive innovation, helping to improve food security and quality, while reducing chemical use”.

Very few people were undecided – only 35 participants wanted to find out more before making a decision. On the other hand, the sample is self-selecting, so it’s not surprising that it attracted voters with firm opinions already.

Three-quarters of the comments were in favour of GE crops, with only 6 against. Contributors from companies involved in agroscience were in favour, with the main arguments against coming from Greenpeace. A remarkably high number of comments (around two-thirds) came from India, as did many of the votes in favour of GE crops.   

For a summary of the arguments for and against, see the contributions from Vijay Kumar Shrivastav of Bayer Bioscience and Rachel Dujardin of Greenpeace.

Thanks to everybody who took part in the poll and encouraged other people to participate. A special thanks to those who contributed comments.

We’ll organise other polls around controversial issues such as climate change and intellectual property rights, and we’d be happy to hear your suggestions for other subjects you’d like to see debated here.

One Response leave one →
  1. Harvey Jackson permalink
    May 4, 2010

    It seems to me that the only alternative to GE crops would be the starvation of millions of humans. While this may seem a bit abstract to some technophobes, I somehow doubt they would maintain their anti-technology stance if we piled the dead starved bodies of their fellow humans on their doorstep. Some opinions are truly a luxury of those disconnected from the ugly consequences which those same opinions would doom the world to if more people actually took them seriously.

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