Be open about GMOs

Be open about GMOs

Re: ''Food for thought'' (Business, Aug 24)

Readers of the Bangkok Post are likely well aware of the misleading information around genetically modified organisms (GMOs). But are policy makers? In this article, Darunee Edwards, president of the Food Science and Technology Association of Thailand, promotes GMOs as, in her opinion, the only solution now for sustainable farming.

She presents ChileBIO as a non-profit biotechnology group providing evidence that GM crops are safe for humans and animals.

A simple background check finds the ChileBIO association counts six members: Dupont, Bayer, BASF, DOW, Monsanto and Syngenta. Are these the companies that excel by non-profit principles? They have probably financed and controlled all the research that Ms Darunee refers to.

GMO and sustainable farming are two clearly opposing approaches. Why do the GMO giants hide behind a growing number of so-called non-profit groups? Supplying equal funding to independent research groups that start from opposing hypotheses would lead to genuine scientific dialogue.

Blurring the scientific debate misleads policy makers, but it seems that this is the aim of the chemical industry.

Suan Nguen Mee Ma social enterprise

Rubber redress needed

Re: ''Yukol rejects farmers' demands'' (BP, Aug 26).

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Yukol Limlaemthong blamed the global economy for the plunge in rubber prices and said it is impossible to buy rubber latex at 120 baht per kilogramme from farmers.

It is vital that the government urgently help the farmers who have made several pleas for state support.

It's also necessary that the government hold talks with farmers' representatives to find acceptable solutions.


Shameful Buddhists

Re: ''Rape report sparks fresh religious unrest'' (BP, Aug 26).

As a Buddhist, I'm ashamed that Buddhists in Myanmar torched Muslim shops and homes, that Buddhists in other parts of Myanmar have protested against Muslims because of their religion, and that the Buddhist hierarchy there is unwilling to discipline/defrock the virulent anti-Muslim monk Wirathu for not following the Buddha's teachings _ the equivalent of the Golden Rule.

Buddhists there are proving just as capable as other faiths at disgracing their own religion.

Thais should follow the tenets of whatever religion we profess, and thus bring it honour. For example, being honest would rid us of corruption and following Lord Buddha's admonition: ''Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it ... Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true'' would give us an education system worthy of the name.


Keeping it in the family

Re: ''Don't make the Senate a family affair'' (Sunday Forum, Aug 25).

Voranai Vanijaka writes in favour of a law excluding MPs' family members from serving as senators and while I agree the intention behind such a law is a good one, I fear it will be doomed to failure for purely practical reasons.

The problem lies in where you draw the line _ wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, cousins, second cousins?

And then there are the in-laws and the children's fiancees, and what about an MP's brother-in-law's wife? And what would be the position regarding MP's ex-wives, not to mention the minefield of the MPs' mia noi (minor wives)?

Even if you employed genealogists to weed out the most distant of relatives that would still leave the problem of the MP's friends, next-door neighbours, employees _ the list of exclusions would be endless.

The truth is that it's a nice idea but getting round such a law would be child's play for the average Thai politician.


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