Debate: What's wrong with GM?

Summary of the discussion hosted by Scidev.net on GMOs and the controversies of the decades-long debate.

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  1. On last 11th of June Scidev.net organised a live debate on Genetically Modified products
    Panellists were Mark Lynas (environmental campaigner and writer),  Pervaiz Amir (agricultural economist), Tarek Kapiel (plant biotechnologist from Al-Baha University), Carla Almeida (Brazilian science journalist), Hortense Dodo (scientific entrepreneur), Faith Nguthi (senior programme officer at the ISAAA - International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications-), Anne Katrin Schlag (senior researcher based from King's College in London). 
    They discussed about the scientific aspects of the matter and the social impacts in different countries resulting by their introduction or ban.
  2. The Worldwide debate on GM products has gone on since 1996, when the first large crop was planted in the US. 
    GM supporters claim to base their stance on scientific evidence of the harmless nature of GMOs. They would be essential in guaranteeing future food security for an ever growing World population. On the other hand, opponents' concern are towards any eventual long-term health or environmental impact derived by their production and consumption.
    The balance of the ongoing debate is perceived as compromised by the media and big corporates, with a general  fear prevailing among the population. 
  3. The wider debate seems also be hindered by interests and extremisms in both sides. Many of the panellists share the same belief of the inappropriateness of the role played by the mainstream media.
    On the other hand, both experts and industry are not considered able to communicate properly the potential benefits of this technology.
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