After nearly 30 years studying how plants use their genes to defend against viruses, Vicki Vance, a professor at the University of South Carolina, doesn’t see genetically modifying plants as a malevolent or arrogantly God-like endeavor. “There’s DNA in the world and it gets passed from one organism to another and it’s the natural thing. If that’s the problem you have with transgenic plants, that’s not a good reason to be against them,” Vance says.
She does, however, have a problem with mega corporations allegedly using their money and power to hide the risks of new forms of genetic technology.
“A lot of good things can come from transgenic plants, but I do take objection that [Monsanto and other seed companies] are doing things I can see have a potential risk when they could avoid it. I’m a scientist and I make transgenic plants and I don’t feel like I’m playing God. If it’s a useful thing, we should do it. If a new risk comes up you shouldn’t fight it — if new data shows this is a possible risk, address it.”
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