Fat lot of good

November 21, 2003

Have the researchers who are developing a drug to burn excess fat ("Aston finds fat-buster clue", THES , 14 November) worked out the economics? We would be able to eat lots more fat and sugar with impunity, so demand for intensive farming of beef, corn and sugar would rise.

Pesticide and fertiliser use would go up, along with prices to the Third World poor. Farmers there might prosper, but famines are created by the (non-farming) poor being unable to afford food, not by a shortage of food.

Could Aston not develop a drug that made fatty foods unpalatable instead?

Hillary Shaw
University of Leeds

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