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 13th May 2017

Jane Goodall 2015Jane Goodall, a leading primatologist, conducted 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.

 

Jane Goodall saw farmers in Africa and Asia experiencing problems with a genetically modified crop during her travels. The crop had a bacteria inserted into it called “bt”  (bacillus thurungenesis) which failed because the insect pests they are supposed to kill developed a resistance to the insecticide inside the plants. But non-target butterflies and bees were harmed instead. Farmlands in Africa, Asia and USA 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 condemmed the plight of farmers  intimidated for taking legal action against GM manufacturers whose weeds and contaminated crops spread onto their land.

At the launch of lawyer-turned-activist Steven Druker's book, “Altered Genes and Twisted Truths” for which Goodall has written the introduction, she recalled the independent scientific studies on rats that developed tumours as well as kidney and liver malfunctions when fed GM crops. She expressed her concern about Glyphosate, the world's top selling herbicide, used in agriculture as a drying agent and available over-the-counter for controlling garden weeds. Glphosate has played havoc with the health of lab rats, sows and piglets and is banned in several countries including Sri Lanka because of high rates of kidney disease in farmers.  It was recently the subject of an International Tribunal at the Hague and found to be harmful to human health and the environment.

 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.......