Referrring to Mr Abdulkatim Alfulaij's letter "What is happening to our food chain" (GDN, August 1), it seems that Mr Alfulaij has awakened too late to realise what is happening.
If I remember correctly, when I was in the UK in 1974, there was a programme we called Horizon and it used to be aired on BBC2. Once they had an interview with a famous American microbiologist who predicted that the increasing world population is having a great strain on the food supply and the situation was dire in those days.
When genetic engineering put its food in the arena, the same gentleman who predicted that the world was facing a catastrophe in food chain to feed the growing population, when interviewed a few years later, changed his statement 360 degrees and this time he claimed that with genetic engineering scientists were able to compensate for the shortages of food he claimed a few years earlier. For example he said that an apple tree which used to yield 200kg of apple annually, with the help of genetic engineering, can yield 100 per cent more.
This theory applied to all foods, otherwise the population explosion and the old method of producing food could not catch up with each other and without the genetically engineered foods there would be a starving population and many wars would have erupted.
The production of rice and storing it, which is a staple food for most of the population of earth is one product that is being sterilised by controlled irradiation to kill or sterilise insects. Most foods also can be sterilised with gamma rays. Large plants have been in use for the last three to four decades throughout the world to disinfect grain, wheat, barley, rye and maize which can be treated at several tonnes per hour and does this method explain why cancer has increased a few-folds in the last decades?
In major European countries it is required by law to label products that are genetically modified (GM) not to be confused with General Motors. In comparison there is a big price difference between the organically grown foods and genetically modified ones and the reason is quite obvious as well as the taste.
Ali Redha Kazerooni