An article today in i gave ‘Six reasons why genetically modified animals are a good thing’.
This is nonsense. Our Chief Policy Advisor, Peter Stevenson responds by offering six reasons why genetically modified farm animals are a bad thing:
- The generation of a new genetically modified (GM) animal involves invasive procedures and often results in the suffering and early death of several animals;
- GM salmon have experienced deformities, feeding and breathing difficulties, reduced swimming abilities and lower tolerance to disease;
- The article argues that GM salmon could help protect their endangered wild counterparts. Not so. If GM salmon escape from fish farms they are likely to undermine wild salmon stocks as they will outcompete them for food and spread disease;
- The article also argues that the Enviropig will reduce water pollution. A better approach is to stop factory farming animals. Industrial farming’s use of synthetic fertilisers and grain-based animal feed causes immense environmental damage;
- GM, rather than respecting animals as sentient beings, regards them as resources placed in this world for our convenience, to manipulate as we wish;
- We don’t need GM animals to feed the growing world population. We already produce enough food to feed 11 billion or more people. But half of it is wasted in post-harvest losses, at the retail and consumer levels, by feeding human-edible crops to animals or using them as biofuels. The real challenge lies not so much in producing more but in wasting less.