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Recently, Britain's Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair ordered Prince Charles to shut down his royal Web site. The prince refused point blank the prime minister's command.


The Prince is speaking out about Monsanto's international PR and lobbying blitzkrieg on behalf of GM (genetically modified crops)--called GE in the U.S. (genetically engineered crops). He wants to encourage lively debate.


Monsanto is making $1.5 billion a year from bovine growth hormone, rBGH, according to Alexander Cockburn of the Nation, who says "the haul from Monsanto's Round-Up Ready soybeans, potatos and corn and its terminator seeds could be tens of billions more." The European Union has been opposed to allowing these products into its markets, but with recent arm wringing from U.S. politiicians such as President Clinton and V.P. Gore, the E.U. has relented.

Cockburn chided the prince's "cosmic holism and organic communitarianism" but that is another way of saying the prince may be seeing the big picture. Those qualities win him the Dendrite Forest Award for




The Prince of Wales asks: Is genetically modified food an innovation we can do without?

A selection of your email responses appears below.

Ian Shears, of Topsham, Devon, UK, said:
It was a sickening moment when through my own research I discovered that our 118-acre organic farm was less than 1km away from a potential GMO trial site. What right do these chemical companies have to pollute our local environment with these organisms. If these products are going to supposedly feed the third world, where are the drought or salt resistant crops? What a surprise it is the first products being trialled are herbicide resistant crops.

Steve Attwood-Wright, of Middlesex University, UK, said:
I am sure that greed not need is the driving force.

David Delaney, of Leominster, UK, said:
I share your concern. I am not too worried about the effect of some GM proteins on humans except, obviously, for those which have anti-biotics or confer resistance to anti-biotics. This is sheer madness. I am much more concerned about the further damage to the environment. Most people have no idea how devastating Round-up is to all growing things. Now, if the Agrochemical companies could demonstrate that their GM systems would guarantee the return of all skylarks, fieldfares, lapwings, partridges and sparrows to the levels of 50 years ago then I could be persuaded to support them.

Steven M. Druker, of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity, USA, said:
The Prince of Wales is quite right to be concerned about genetically modified foods, and his endeavors to stimulate wider public debate are commendable. These foods not only pose unprecedented risks to the environment, but to the health of the consumer as well. Our organization is especially concerned that the threats to food safety are being irresponsibly ignored by the United States government (and inadequately appreciated by many governments in the EU, including that of Great Britain).

Jeff Jenkins, of Hampshire, UK, said:
Very worried about GM food. I've read a lot of the information on it and have come to the conclusion that I'd like to avoid eating any, but how? Very few manufacturers are labelling their foods, with the exception of some own-brand supermarket goods, and even then we are told that some ingredients (e.g. soya) cannot be guaranteed to be free of genetically modified materials.

Robert G Anderson, of New Zealand, said:
As a member of the Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Application of Science and Technology [PSRAST] I would like to endorse His Royal Highness's comments on the dangers on genetically engineered food. This industry is being driven entirely from a profit motive without due regard to human safety. It is an alliance between big business and bad science. The orchestrated litany of lies being fed to the public by the giant multinational corporations and made palatable by the almost equally large PR industry is downright amoral. Instead of GE and agribusiness, the only real hope for feeding the world is organic agriculture. GE is now widely deployed and it will take some time and effort to bring under control, but we have right on our side. GE is by now more popular - more widely practised - than dangerous versions of nuclear science every were. But it is profoundly wrong.

Nigel Bowman, aboard the Seismic Survey Vessel Resolution, off the North Coast of Australia, said:
I totally agree with all of your comments. All of these new developments modifying any natural resource should be quarantined severely. These resources have developed over millions of years, delicately balancing each other. If research is needed on plant life it should not be allowed to spread into the general habitat; strict rules are required to limit any tampering with genetics. This could severely jeopardize our future as a species, destroying the wealth of genetic diversity. Where would this end ? Would we need to always keep one step ahead of any resistance to new strains of infection? What effects would this have on poorer nations where their crops were not immune ? A society that is focused on growth will always try to cheat the forces of nature.




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