Letter: GM pest control

Greenfly and blackfly cause enormous damage to plants, but the use of toxic pesticides to control the problem also kills other innocent creatures like bumblebees.

Agricultural scientists have managed to extract a gene from the peppermint plant which releases a chemical the flies interpret as a warning of parasitic wasp attack.

The gene was inserted into wheat and is being field-tested before an attempt is made to expand the use of this natural form of genetic modification to other crops.

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One would have thought such a humane method of increasing food production, in a world where so many are hungry, would draw the support of all environmentalists.

Sadly, extreme greens appear to be opposed to scientific advances and, on Sunday, hundreds of these Luddites had yet again to be prevented by police from destroying the crops (your report, 28 June).

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews