THE Bracks Government's four-year ban on genetically modified crops looks more irrational by the day.
No wonder our top scientists rage against this kowtowing to the greens. As Nobel Prize laureate Peter Doherty says: "Reason is under threat". Since the Government imposed its ban in March, limply claiming it wanted to be "cautious", even the GM-phobic European Union has finally decided to let in imports of GM corn it once claimed were too risky.Then the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organisation agreed GM food was safe and kinder to the environment, just as our Gene Technology Regulator said months before.
The FAO said these tougher and more bountiful crops could "help the poor" and the hungry, and a top FAO official, Louise Fresco, now wants governments to back them./
"This is where the countries have to be prepared to say, 'Yes, it's worth us taking an unquantified, unknown small risk, but the benefits are going to be great because it addresses some real needs'," she said.Just think of Golden Rice -- a vitamin A-enriched GM rice that can save 50,000 children a month from going blind, but which Greenpeace opposes for religious reasons.
Our scientists and farmers should lead in such great work. But the Bracks Government, whose ministers include a former Greenpeace board member, shuns them and panders instead to a fact-free green scare campaign.
Green myths beat science yet again in Victoria, and it will cost us more than money.
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