Sunday, August 24, 2008

Prince Charles on G.M.

PRINCE Charles has lashed out at the genetic modification of food as the biggest environmental disaster of all time.

In an exclusive interview filmed and published by Britain 's Daily Telegraph, Charles highlighted Australia 's problems with salinity as an example of the dangers of meddling with nature.

"Look at Western Australia," he said. "Huge salinisation problems. I have been there, seen it some of the excessive approaches to modern forms of agriculture.

"If you are not working with natural assistance you cause untold problems, which become very expensive and very difficult to undo. It places impossible burdens on nature and leads to accumulating problems which become more difficult to sort out," he said.

Prince Charles said multinational companies played with the natural world. The world 's food supply was being whittled away by soil damage wreaked by scientific research, he said.

Big companies used humanity arid nature as a gigantic experiment that had gone seriously wrong, he said. Why else are we facing all these challenges, climate change and everything?" Charles, who has an organic farm on his Highgrove estate, is no stranger to contempt from scientists because he made similar statements to the Telegraph in 1998 accusing geneticists of taking humanity into the "realms that belong to God and God alone".
Yesterday he insisted reliance on global corporations for food would result in disaster, one that would ensure the ~What we should be talking about is food security, not food production.~ PRINCE CHARLES "absolute destruction of everything ... and the classic way of ensuring there is no food in the future".

"What we should be talking about is food security, not food production. That is what matters and that is what people will not understand... and if they think it's somehow going to work because they are going to have one form of clever genetic engineering after another, then again count me out, because that will be guaranteed to cause the biggest disaster environmentally of all time." Charles, who has spoken and written about world environmental challenges for more than two decades, argued that small farmers will end up being victims of corporate takeovers of food production.

"I think it's heading for real disaster," he said. If they think this is the way to go ... we end up with millions of small farmers all over the world being driven off their land into unsustainable, unmanageable, degraded and dysfunctional conurbations of unmentionable awfulness." The Telegraph editorialised that his comments would put him on a collision course with the international scientific community and Downing Street, which has allowed more than 50 trials of genetically modified crops in the past eight years.

The scientific community argues that GM research is the saviour that will produce food for a burgeoning world population, but there is likely to be great anxiety that such a high profile opponent has emerged at this critical time.
In his interview 10 years ago, Charles advocated a future for British agriculture that revolved around more family run co-operative farms. At the time, he rejected claims that he was being atavistic: "It is actually recognising that we are with nature, not against it."

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