Waikato Times: AgResearch chief accused of grovelling

Chris Gardner of the Waikato Times reports that a senior soil scientist feels that Andy West has been grovelling recently in attempts to secure funding for research into GM.

Andy West, CEO of AgResearch, was quoted last week as saying that research into GM food, in order to avert an impending global food crisis, was a moral imperative.  Soil scientist Doug Edmeades has said, however, that Dr West could have left out the emotive terminology and appealed instead to the logic of conducting such research.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Dr West said at last week’s United States-New Zealand Agriculture and Food Workshop at Ruakura Research Centre that more research into genetic modification was needed to boost agricultural production before a world food shortage occurred as a result of global warming.

“”If genetic modification can create more food from fewer inputs, I think we have a moral obligation to use it. With our current product mix, New Zealand can feed 17 million people,” Dr West said.

“Doug Edmeades, whose agKnowledge business is Hamilton-based, said Dr West had used an alarmist appeal to grab the headlines and solicit research dollars.

“”Science should never be put in this grovelling, undignified position,” Dr Edmeades said. “It is a direct consequence of commoditising and commercialising science.””