GM risks

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Our former chief scientific 
advisor doesn’t seem to have 
noticed that our SNP government has always been totally 
opposed to GM crops (“Leading scientist hits out at Scots GM food ban, 15 August), and already has a mandate from its majority electorate to ban them.

Contrary to suggestions of a lack of scientific basis for the rejection of GM, there are already at least two factors widespread in existing crops which raise real concerns. The first is the herbicide, glyphosate, which is accumulated by most GM crops. This has now been declared a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organisation.

The second is the viral DNA needed to drive the expression of artificial genes in their novel setting. This has been found to transfer from GM food into the DNA of the consumer with the potential to cause cancer and other disease.

Toxin accumulation and DNA transfer are a clear indication for long-term comprehensive safety studies, making GM crops and food inherently impractical.

Joining the criticism of the SNP decision to ban GM crops was an editorial preceding an article describing workers having “mock snowball fights” with asbestos, followed some 40 years on by a truly horrible death.

Given this time-scale for insidious chronic disease to become apparent, the time-bomb of glyphosate’s and viral DNA’s mischief on our own DNA will explode just as the asbestos time-bomb is coming to an end.

Be thankful we have a government able to recognise biotech industry propaganda on the “benefits” of GM crops for what it is.

Joanna Clarke

Hamilton Drive

Glasgow

So Scotland has joined 
Switzerland in banning genetically modified crops, so frightening off the “wealth creators”, according to John Cameron 
(Letters, 17 August).

If we continue down the Swiss roads we could end up a small independent nation with a wealth tax and holes in our cheese!

We risk being out of Nato with no ability to bomb Middle Easterners out of their homes, and having to content ourselves with binding up their wounds afterwards, maybe with a Blue Cross alongside the Swiss Red Cross.

Our common people would be consoled with a huge rise in wages and standard of living, but this would be little comfort for our rulers who would no longer be able to strut the world stage like Tony Blair and David 
Cameron.

Indeed, does anyone even know the name of the Swiss president?

Horror of horrors for those 
allergic to referendums: we could end up with 20 to 30 a year grouped into four referendum days.

The poor Swiss people cannot afford a House of Lords and have to revise all their laws and supervise their single-chamber parliament themselves.

They have to take time off from the football and bingo to think of these matters, and look what their scandal papers miss!

George Shering

West Acres Drive

Newport-on-Tay

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