GM foods might be good for you, they might be bad for you. I don't know. But I do know that concentrating the issue on the health hazards of GM foods is a feat of spin fit for the US presidential election.

The anti-GM/pro-organic movement is not a health craze. It's political backlash. As such, it's no coincidence that the first and biggest uproar against it was in evidence in Seattle. That was political protest, not a paranoid dieticians' convention, you know.

One of the things that are often swept under the carpet about GM crops is the the genetically modified seeds have to be purchased from the pharmaceutical company that produces them for every new crop. A farmer cannot grow his own seeds - he is entirely dependant on massive multinationals who are outside of normal market competition because their product is patented. A reassuring prospect for small, struggling European farmers, I think not.

To say that GM crops will reduce famine in developing countries is the most cynical of lies. If African farmers are entirely at the mercy of Western market forces now, how much worse will it be when they need to pay a premium for the priviledge of growing cash crops, which they then sell for a pittance insufficient to feed their families?

Neither will "our beautiful forests" be assured safety by the spread of GM crops. There are too many people on this planet. There are more and more of them all the time. To feed them all, we need to exploit larger and larger tracts of land. No amount of fancy labeling will get around the math of that one, unless we descend into the mass produced dry food hells of Soylent Green. Which is exactly what a lot of people are afraid of - that today's GM seeds will open the door to tomorrow's synthetic nutro-biscuits.