Letters to the Editor - 24/06

GM progress

[Re: GM crops: Why it’s time we reaped the rewards of farming technology, Friday]
Harry Cotterell is right to express concern about Europe falling hopelessly behind its international trading partners in agriculture. The economic consequences of this could be profound – through the cost of imports, subsidies to EU farmers and loss of scientific talent. Many of the major agribusiness companies have already moved blocks of staff to the US or Canada, and are building their businesses in GM-friendly countries like Brazil. Time for the government to take these issues more seriously.

Professor Maurice Moloney, Rothamsted Research

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Cultural heritage

[Re: Why our vibrant city must escape the clutches of Unesco’s bureaucrats, Friday]
The author is spot on. But we should also think about the role played by Unesco in terms of cultural preservation. The Intangible Cultural Heritage agenda aims to preserve certain cultural traditions, like Spanish flamenco. But the decision as to which “elements of culture” are worth preserving is deferred to heads of states and Unesco officials, rather than the local communities that actually sustain such practices. If intangible cultural heritage is worth preserving, it too should be outside the clutches of Unesco bureaucrats.

Clive Bright

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