Green activists are planning to trash research on genetically modified wheat because....well, because it's...*takes deep toke*...because it's unnatural, man:
Scientists working on a new generation of genetically modified crops have sent an open letter to anti-GM protesters pleading with them not to destroy “years of work” by attacking their research plots.
The activist group, Take the Flour Back, has pledged to carry out a “decontamination” at a test site in Hertfordshire, where agricultural researchers are growing the world’s first genetically modified wheat that can repel insect pests by emitting a repellent-smelling substance.
Appealing to the protesters as fellow “environmentalists”, scientists from Rothamsted Research led by Professor John Pickett called on the group to “reconsider before it is too late”.
“Our research is trying to shed light on questions about the safety and usefulness of new varieties of the staple food crops on which all of us depend,” the scientists write. “(…)We do not see how preventing the acquisition of knowledge is a defensible position in an age of reason.”
The pheromone exuded by the new strain of “whiffy” wheat is naturally produced by “frightened” aphids as a warning signal to deter other aphids. However, activists claim that the wheat contains an artificial gene “most similar to a cow” and that open air trials represent an “imminent contamination threat to the local environment and the UK wheat industry”.
Scientists said that the suggestion they had used a cow gene “betrays a misunderstanding which may serve to confuse people or scare them but has no basis in scientific reality”.
Matt Thomson, from Take the Flour Back, told The Independent yesterday that action against the Rothamsted site would go ahead as planned.
“The concerns that we have are not addressed in this letter,” he said. “The way that Rothamsted have publicised this trial has been patronising. This wheat contains genes that are not naturally occurring.”
...so we're just going to destroy everything.