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Failings of GE

Background - 20 April, 2010
2003 marked the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA. This highlighted the fact that many fundamental questions regarding the functioning of DNA and genes remain unanswered. Modern science has shown the mechanisms and controls of gene expression to be far more complex than first thought.

Action against GM maize in Spain, August 2003

The fundamental basis for genetic engineering (GE) is a theory or 'dogma' that dates from the 1950s and is now considered over-simplistic. GE is a crude and old fashioned technology which has lead to the many surprises and unexpected effects associated with GE organisms. As such the effects of GE crops on the environment and human health cannot be reliably predicted. Therefore, no GE organisms should be released into the environment or the food chain.

This collection of documents was prepared for the DNA anniversary on April 25th 2003. They detail the underlying scientific basis for Greenpeace's campaign to prevent deliberate releases of GE organisms to the environment.

GE Crude and Old Fashioned

This document is a scientific review of changes in the understanding of the complexity of gene expression over the last 50 years and how this complexity renders the fundamental paradigm of GE technology invalid. It also looks at how the latest DNA knowledge and gene functionality could be used in plant breeding without the use of GE. Download PDF

GE Chronology

A chronology of scientific developments and GE developments since 1953. Scientific progress reveals increasing complexity in the control of gene expression, but the GE industry neglects this complexity and instead moves rapidly towards commercialisation of GE products. Download PDF

Illustrating the problems of genetic engineering

An illustrated guide to the complexity of gene expression, the crudeness of the GE process and the unexpected effects revealed so far. Download PDF