O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

sexta-feira, outubro 31, 2003


Abaixo reproduzo uma carta aberta assinada por 144 cientistas do Reino Unido (nos quais se incluem 1 Prémio Nóbel e 28 FRS [Fellow of the Royal Society] a protestar contra a política restricionista do Governo Britânico quanto aos OGM's. O texto e a totalidade dos subscritores do documento podem ser encontrados aqui.

The Right Honourable Tony Blair MP
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AS

The Right Honourable Margaret Beckett MP DEFRA, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR

The Right Honourable Patricia Hewitt MP DTI, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET

Mr Nigel Griffiths MP DTI, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET

30th October 2003

Dear Prime Minister

The results of the Farm Scale Evaluations of three GM crops announced on 16th October were reported across the media as ?the end of GM in the UK?. In fact the FSEs did not assess the effects of genetically modifying the crops, but rather the impact of different types of weed control. They had little to do with genetic modification, its processes or potential.

However the government?s reaction to the latest misleading reports on GM was to remain silent. Since 1999, the government has sponsored several protracted deliberations on GM but has consistently neglected opportunities to address any of the unsubstantiated assertions about the process of genetic modification and possible risks.

We feel you should be aware of the consequences of this ongoing failure to respond and to give a lead:

1. Demoralisation
Some scientists are leaving the UK, but many more are thoroughly demoralised by hostility to the work they do, which is continually misrepresented and even sabotaged. This is despite the new scientific opportunities afforded by developments like genomics. Those who have contributed many hours to public communication and government-sponsored deliberations feel undermined by the government?s failure to contradict false claims about ?Frankenfoods?, health risks and ?superweeds?.

2. Declining contribution to scientific development
Work on the basic science of genetic engineering and its applications to plants is being scaled down. This will inhibit our ability to contribute to scientific knowledge internationally, and to meet challenges like yield improvement, drought tolerance and reduced reliance on pesticides.

The government?s many initiatives in this prolonged deliberation on GM crops have been structured in a way that makes it impossible to clarify the nature of the scientific work or its opportunities. Genetic engineering of plants has been reduced to a matter of consumer preference; the public has been misinformed; and the efforts of scientists to communicate about genetic engineering have been misused.

For those of us who have spent our lives ?doing research, publishing research and teaching research? in the UK, it is distressing to experience such a backward slide; for others of us, and our students just starting out, it is deeply discouraging. More importantly, for society as a whole, if the same framework is applied in future decision-making, we risk seeing other technologies lose out to prejudice and procrastination.

Yours sincerely

posted by Miguel Noronha 2:19 da tarde

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

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