The Debate on GM Potatoes

Prof. Jonathon Jones of the John  Innes Centre in England writes in the Guardian to defend the his group’s work on introducing  blight resistant traits in potatoes.Blight causes huge losses for commercial potato growers every year and the work in question consists of experiments to introduce blight resistant traits found in wild potatoes into commercial potatoes without losing the desirable properties already present in them. What was intriguing about the article was not just the description of the work or the case made for biotechnology but the plea that Prof. Jones makes for better communication between the supporters and opponents of biotechnology.  Like any other technology, genetic modification comes with advantages and concerns. All too often, opponents of GM  seek to demonize it  and following this path would mean we also lose out on the potential of this option to address issues like climate change, global hunger and public health.  We need a sane dialogue on this issue , the time for fear mongering should be over now.

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