Saturday, 29 October 2016

Britain’s GMO Liberation - WSJ

Hurrah! At last some sanity on Genetically Modified Organisms. "Britain's GMO liberation", WSJ, 28 October 2016. ($).
Britain is going to regulate the growth of the GMO industry with a policy that is "science-based and proportionate".
Greenies are always saying that we should listen to the science when it comes to global warming. But they resolutely fail to accept the overwhelming science about the safety of GMOs -- which they scorn as "Frankenfoods".
That idiocy impacts many poorer countries where GMOs could have major positive impacts: in productivity, in health and even in green-ness (e.g. fewer pesticides).

The promise of Britain’s exit from the European Union is to liberate the U.K. from the shackles of damaging EU regulations. So congratulations to Theresa May’s government for scoring its first Brexit victory by getting away from one of Brussels’s worst food obsessions.
“As part of the preparations for EU exit,” Agriculture Minister George Eustice wrote to Parliament last week, “the Government is considering possible future arrangements for the regulation of genetically modified organisms.” He added: “The Government’s general view remains that policy and regulation in this area should be science-based and proportionate.”
This represents a significant shift from when London’s food policy was hostage to GMO-phobia across the EU. To allow GMOs to be regulated like other food products means that they will no longer be a taboo product in Britain. 
Mr. Eustice’s emphasis on “science-based” decision making is especially welcome, since the anti-GMO hysteria prevalent in the rest of the EU has no scientific basis. The European Food Safety Authority has ruled repeatedly that genetically modified soybean, maize and cotton, among many other products, are safe for human and animal consumption. Numerous other medical and scientific bodies on both sides of the Atlantic have reached the same conclusion.
Yet the European Parliament has resisted the introduction of GMO products approved by the EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, while the Green lobby continues to fan hostility to GMOs in Germany and France especially. 
The Green movement always insists it has a lock on good science. Its opposition to GMO products is a reminder that it doesn’t. The May government’s good sense on the subject should set a precedent for future liberations from other Continental manias—and the bad rules they inspire.