miércoles, noviembre 14, 2007

Transgénicos: ¿y si son benéficos?

Todo mundo ve los performances de Greenpeace, y simpatiza, pero vale recordar que la ONG mundial no es una universidad o centro de investigación, y como el Dr. Bolivar Zapata - director del Instituto de Biotecnología de la UNAM - comento hace poco en El Colegio de México: no hay evidencia empírica que nos haga rechazar de forma tajante el uso de plantas transgénicas. Seamos cautos sí, aseveró, pero rechacemos sus beneficios, no se ve la razón.

La siempre provocadora revista británica Prospect se mete en el debate y habla de verdadero escándalo sobre los transgénicos: que no cuentan con el financiamiento suficiente para ser aún la promesa que pueden ser.

The real GM food scandal

From Prospect Magazine:

Food Seven years ago, Time magazine featured the Swiss biologist Ingo Potrykus on its cover. As the principal creator of genetically modified rice—or "golden rice"—he was hailed as potentially one of mankind's great benefactors. Golden rice was to be the start of a new green revolution to improve the lives of millions of the poorest people in the world. It would help remedy vitamin A deficiency, the cause of 1-2m deaths a year, and could save up to 500,000 children a year from going blind. It was the flagship of plant biotechnology. No other scientific development in agriculture in recent times held out greater promise.

Seven years later, the most optimistic forecast is that it will take another five or six years before golden rice is grown commercially. The realisation of Potrykus's dream keeps receding. The promised benefits from other GM crops that should reduce hunger and disease have been equally elusive. GM crops should now be growing in areas where no crops can grow: drought-resistant crops in arid soil and salt-resistant crops in soil of high salinity. Plant-based oral vaccines should now be saving millions of deaths from diarrhoea and hepatitis B; they can be ingested in orange juice, bananas or tomatoes, avoiding the need for injection and for trained staff to administer them and refrigeration to store them.

(vía 3quarksdaily)

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