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 13th May 2017

Jane Goodall 2015Jane Goodall is a leading primatologist, conducting a 50 year survey of chimps in Tanzania. Now a Dame and recently named one of the world’s top 100 important scientists of all time, she has turned her attention to the Genetic Engineering debate.

It was through her work in Africa and travelling around Asia that Jane Goodall saw farmers having problems with crops with a genetically modified bacteria inserted into them. The “bt”  (bacillus thurungenesis) crops failed because the insect pests they were supposed to destroy developed a resistance to the insecticide inside the plants and non-target butterflies and bees were harmed by them. Farmlands in Africa, Asia and the US are plagued by super-weeds caused by the horizontal transfer of genes from engineered crops to native weeds, grown out of all proportion and impossible to control or contain. Dr Goodall highlights the plight of farmers who are intimidated when taking legal action against GM companies whose weeds and contaminated crops spread onto their land.

Speaking at the launch of lawyer turned activist Steven Druker book, “Altered Genes and Twisted Truths” for which she has written the introduction, she recalls the independent scientific studies that demonstrate that rats develop tumours and suffer kidney and liver malfunctions when fed GM crops. She expressed her concern about Glyphosate, a major herbicide and drying agent used in agriculture and available over the counter for controlling garden weeds that has played havoc with the health of lab rats, farm animals including sows and piglets. Glyphosate has subsequently been the subject of an International Tribunal where it was found to be harmful to the environment and was first banned in Sri Lanka because of the rising incidence of kidney disease amongst young farmers.

 Jane Goodall raises important questions for humanity when talking about her own field of study. The big difference between chimps and humans is the explosive development of the human brain that outstrips even the smartest of chimps.  So, how is it possible that the most intellectual creature that has ever walked the planet is destroying its only home?  And, in relation to GM crops, which cannot be recalled from the environment once released, and with an increasing body of scientific evidence disproving industry claims that they are safe for human and animal consumption, she asks,  “How has the GE industry managed to fool so many people?  Is it really just about money? 

 

 

 

More information can be found here: Altered Genes and Twisted Truths: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government.......