Powerless left to pay

December 24, 2004

Lisa Jardine ("Playing at God, but working for all humanity", December 17) is right to point out that it is the developments brought by past technology that enable us to enjoy the luxury of rejecting potential future technologies.

However, all technologies bring with them unintended consequences, and history also shows us that, while the benefits accrue disproportionately to the already-comfortable, the costs fall overwhelmingly on the politically and economically powerless.

To use Jardine's example of genetically modified foods, it is well documented that their major impact to date has been to boost the profits of biotechnology companies and rich farmers while driving subsistence farmers off the land and into starvation.

Linda Hadfield
Thurleigh, Bedford

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