Spot eight clues in this essay and win a bottle of bubbly

May 28, 2004

The first Times Higher reader who is able to identify all eight plagiarism clues correctly will win a bottle of champagne.

The solutions and a guide to preventing and spotting plagiarism will be available on The Times Higher website from June 4. ( Solution to Dr Willmot's plagiarism puzzle )

Are GM crops safe?

By A Corner-Cutter

There has been a lot of discussion in the media recently about GM crops and whether they are safe. In my essay I’m going to say that it is wise at the moment not to go ahead with these crops, but it may be ok in the future. However, it is important to distinguish between unwanted environmental changes attributable to a transgene and those caused by other aspects of a dynamic agro-environment (Furlong and Gallen, 2004).

A number of well-documented cases show the dangers of GM. In 2000, a GM corn meant for consumption by animals, cross-pollinated with corn destined for Taco Bell taco shells. Despite a rapid recall of the tainted corn products, at least 44 people claim to have gotten ill after the Starlink contaminated corn, suffering from rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, itching and life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

Some people raise issues of ‘naturalness’ as a way of expressing disquiet about what GM means for our relationship with the natural world. They may admit that we already live with considerable human intervention in the environment, but see GM as ‘step too far’. For others it may be the presence of animal genes or of even any gene that could not have reached its destination through ‘conventional’ breeding techniques. (1)

Further concerns are raised about the possibility genes escaping from modified crops into other plants and maybe making ‘superweeds’ (see, for example, Hughes and Bryant, 2002). Are we likely to faced by a future in which previously weak.

P.T.O.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns