Can there ever have been greater wilful ignorance visited on mankind by well meaning but loopy wool growers? Does farmer Olsson really want to shut down cosmological and climatic research? Has farmer Olsson bothered to read and understand the research described in the article? Does farmer Olsson perhaps agree with the Spanish Inquisition, and think that the Earth is flat? It seems probable.
Senator Smith's article contains a major falsehood. Norman Borlaug was a remarkable scientist who increased grain production - the Green Revolution - in poorer countries, by selective breeding, intensive use of modern fertilisers, and intensive use of water - not by Genetic Modification. This profit-driven technique involves the transfer of genetic material from exterior sources eg Bacillus thurengiensis, present in soil, to the gene of the potato. The results are patented and sold, not distributed as was Borlaug's research. Why is Smith muddying the waters?
John, Farrer did not produce GM wheat - just improved strains through selective breeding, not introduced genes from elsewhere. And it's not (direct) political interference. Politicians have created the environment in which corporate behaviour is unregulated, so that consumer-capitalism can flourish. The remarkable science of today's big biotech corporations is motivated by profit, rather than the quest for knowledge or the betterment of the human community. It's not illegal - but is it good? So I want the option of informed choice, non-commercial information and honest labelling.
Journalists such as Colin Bettles seem determined to create a black/white division where one does not exist. Rather, what the Greens have shown is a continuum. Anthropogenic climate change, say the Greens, the scientists, the Academies, and President Obama, is virtually certain. The benefits or threats of GM food are much less certain. Both these views can be derived from evidence-based science, and both these views imply continued research as a matter of urgency. (As a consumer, and not a Green, I demand honest food labelling at the very least.)