The pro-GM crop scientist on the Today programme really annoyed me. Now, I have a fairly open mind about the wider GM issue. Much of my suspicion comes from the sort of companies that are involved, rather than the science itself. I have a hard time seeing why Monsanto would want to solve a global food crisis, for example. I don't buy GM food, but that's more along the lines of a boycott and an avoidance of actively supporting it rather than some idea that my body is particularly pure. I eat soy (albeit organic), drink coffee, use deodorant with aluminium in and am not particularly fussed about ingesting the odd artificial something-or-other (except sweeteners, they make me ill), so GM can join the queue on that score. I am, however, prepared to listen to the arguments on this issue.
So why did this particular scientist piss me off? Well, it was his brief exposition of one particular health benefit of GM food - the potential for adding essential fatty acids to plant matter which can currently only be found in fish oil. And, he says, this would help to conserve fish stocks. Now, I know that it is difficult to find a vegetarian source of these acids, but I also know that they can be found in flax. That may be known as linseed where you live or buy food. You can get the seeds themselves, or a powder. (some of my friends swear by the powder as a cooking ingredient - I'm not keen but will occasionally go on a health kick and buy some). These can be bought in health food shops, including Horrid and Bastard if you don't have anything else to hand, and also in Teh Evil Teh Sco. And, guess what? Eating these instead of fish will also help to stop said fish going extinct. See, that didn't take much gene-fiddling, did it?