Response to Dominic Glover's contribution [15 December]:
Developments in the genetic improvement of crops are based on the most productive varieties which have been developed over preceeding decades. There is no point trying to "improve" (by GM technology) a variety which is not adapted to conventional agricultural systems.
Sustainable production systems are not "alternative models" as proposed. All agronomists today know that their system of production must be sustainable. This idea of sustainability has always been a part of agronomy (crop rotations, hygiene etc.). Today the sensitivity of systems can be quantified accurately and critical elements recognised (residues, nutrition levels) in practical terms. The goal is always to make the system more sustainable in all situations. Biotechnology methods can help to improve sustainability and the goal of technologists is to improve the efficiencies of crucial components of the system using the most adapted germplasm.
Dr. Gerry Douglas
Teagasc, Kinsealy Research Centre
Malahide Rd. Dublin 17
Phone: 353 1 8460644 Fax:353 1 8460524
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