It is difficult to think of another technology that has caused as much debate or concern as that of genetic engineering (GE) with food.
Should patents on plants, animals and humans, as well as patents on their genes be allowed? Our ability to alter the genetic blueprint of animals and plants is in the process of changing many aspects of science and medicine. Many people see this as beneficial others see this as tampering with nature.
But what about genetically-modified (GM) food? Do we want to eat such food? And is it really such a big deal?
Genetic engineering enables scientists to create plants, animals and micro-organisms by manipulating genes in a way that does not occur naturally.
A recent GM Nation report concluded that the general public is overwhelmingly against GM technology, with feelings ranging from suspicion and skepticism, to hostility and rejection; there are, it was said, many more people who are cautious, suspicious or out rightly hostile about GM crops than there are supportive towards them.
Anxiety in society over genetically modified food is understandable, fuelled by a variety of causes – consumer unfamiliarity; lack...