I just finished recording Any Questions on Radio 4 (you can hear the programme here). Since it was recorded in a pesticides research base, I was hoping for a question on GM, because there’s an interesting dark corner here that needs a bit more attention.
Regular readers will know that I’m very critical of the pharmaceutical industry, because they often fail to conduct fair, transparent trials, lots of data goes missing in action, and so on.
Interestingly – and not a lot of people know this – the same holds for GM. The evidence on increased crop yields from GM isn’t brilliant, but more importantly, every time you buy a seed from Syngenta, Monsanto, or any big GM company, you compulsorily “agree” to an agreement saying that you will not do any comparative trials of this seed against any competitors. This means that the industry has complete control over the trials that are done on its products.
I think this is wrong.
Anyway, after the show I was approached by the head of comms for Syngenta, he asked me if I would come and talk to their staff, I said I’d love to as long as it was about this issue, and as long as I could record my talk and the discussion to post on badscience.net unedited, and he said yes.
So that’ll be fun.
Read more about the “no tests” GM agreement in this Scientific American editorial, here: