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European activists opposing all forms of modern genetics have a new defector. The heretic is no other than Urs Niggli, for more than 25 years Director of the Switzerland-based Research Institute of Organic Agriculture. . . FiBL is one of the world’s leading organic farming information and research centers . . . . when he spoke out in an interview in the German-language newspaper Die Tageszeitung taz, published April 6, Niggli found himself in the focus of a shitstorm by NGOs and lobby groups of organic agriculture. . . .
Niggli’s capital crime: He spoke in favor of CRISPR/cas, a violation of the central dogma of the European organic movement that all technologies developed by modern genetics are unnatural and inherently evil. . . .
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. . . Urs Niggli, a respected authority and opinion leader in the organic agriculture movement, is speaking out. Obviously, he does not want to dismiss a technology which according to his interview, bears “great potential” even for organic breeders and farmers. . . .
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Asked whether the technology would pose unknown risks, e.g. unintended and unnoticed changes in the genome, potentially giving rise to allergies and other health or environmental consequences, he bluntly answered: “That you don’t know with traditional breeding as well”, adding examples of conventional breeding leading to products with increased allergy potential. . . .
The reactions started pouring in the very next day. Organic lobby groups small and large expressed their disgust in interviews and press releases and dismissed his claims, saying Niggli was doing the GMO lobby a big favor. . . .
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All in all, these reactions are not reactions found in rational discourse but reactions common in cults and religions. . .
Read full, original post: “An Absolute no-go“ – A European Organic Opinion Leader Goes CRISPR