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GM Foods: Two Views

I enjoyed reading the article "Fears or Facts? A Viewpoint on GM Crops."1 I second Peter Raven's remarks on genetically modified (GM) plants. The Europeans have obviously been misled by their media; hence, their irrational fear of GM food sources. Is it the Galileo syndrome all over again? Are we not manipulating genes when breeders make artificial crosses using gametes from a male and female plant to improve their varieties? Are we not already consuming hybrid corn, hybrid rice, and high-yieldi

Ardeshir Damania

I enjoyed reading the article "Fears or Facts? A Viewpoint on GM Crops."1 I second Peter Raven's remarks on genetically modified (GM) plants. The Europeans have obviously been misled by their media; hence, their irrational fear of GM food sources. Is it the Galileo syndrome all over again?

Are we not manipulating genes when breeders make artificial crosses using gametes from a male and female plant to improve their varieties? Are we not already consuming hybrid corn, hybrid rice, and high-yielding wheat varieties infused with the dwarfing gene?

More than a hundred years ago, farmers used to improve their crops by selecting plants from among their matured standing crops. They harvested the remainder and used the seeds from the selected plants for the next season's sowing. This way the best plants perpetuated themselves, and the farmer was able to develop his own varieties. These varieties, sometimes called "landraces," were...

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