Letters: gene editing will only perpetuate disastrous factory farming | Gene modification

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A quote came to my mind while reading “Gene editing” would allow us to create more resilient farm breeds ”(News):“ For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple and false ”(HL Mencken). The application of magical “solutions” has put our species in many dire straits, from waves of Australian toads to an explosion of obesity linked to prescription of low fat diets.

Supporting environmentally disastrous factory farming by modifying animals to resist disease would only encourage the spread of other pathogens that threaten humans and other animals.

A simple genetic change in a giant monoculture to allow for greater drought resistance would have widespread impacts on soil ecologies, water and nutrient cycles, promote the continuation of disastrous agricultural practices and more “super weeds.” “.

Food security and a healthy planet and human population demand that we stop trying to subjugate nature and instead strengthen our knowledge and understanding of natural systems, the innovation that builds soils. healthy, increases the genetic diversity within crops and animals, the use of a wide range of cultivated species and the end of food waste from factory farming.
Natalie Bennett, Green Peer
House of Lords, London SW1

Rather than supporting gene editing to produce disease-resistant livestock, regulatory clearance that encourages investment in and production of cultured meat could offer far greater benefits. Why the hell continue to pursue developments that support intensive and environmentally damaging animal production when “clean meat” from painless biopsies taken from a few pampered animals can provide cheap protein while reducing deforestation for food production. soybeans, pollution of our rivers, CO2 emissions, cruelty to animals and food miles, as well as the creation of a better working environment.
Christophe Price, Managing Director, Rare Breeds Survival Trust
Kenilworth, Warwickshire

The fate of mothers in prison

Reading the story of the 18-year-old remanded woman who had to give birth alone in a cell after her requests for help were ignored, and the subsequent death of her daughter, one wonders how long can last. the imprisonment of pregnant women and young mothers. justified on security and moral grounds (“Prison guards receive advice after baby dies in cell – mother does not,” News).
Jane brighton
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

What did John McDonnell do?

John McDonnell accuses Keir Starmer of having “reached the Blairite playbook” (“Dump the New Labor playbook, Keir, and lay out your agenda for radical change”, Commentary). While in power, Tony Blair’s Labor Party introduced the minimum wage, invested heavily in schools and the NHS and reduced inequalities. What have MM. McDonnell and Corbyn, other than two general election losses?
Stuart skyte
Oxford

Understanding abuse

Lisa Bachelor asks what can be done to make Britain safer for women (“When will women feel safe on our streets?” Special report). Sexual harassment, mainly of women and girls, has escalated, and recent cases of femicide have triggered reactions of fear and outrage, with calls for changes in the law and police responses to these crimes. These changes are necessary, as is the need for schools to recognize the damage caused by abuse, harassment and bullying. But increasing charges and penalties won’t work unless we also address the possible causes.

What we should ask ourselves is: why do men and boys commit abusive and violent assaults against women and girls? In cases where the victim is unknown to the perpetrator, has the perpetrator ever watched pornography or other videos depicting violence against women? When the victim is known to the perpetrator, is there a history of abuse and violence in the perpetrator’s childhood?
Pat Brandwood
Broadstone, Dorset

On behalf of Rubens

It comes as no surprise to me that a new computer analysis of the National Gallery’s prizes Samson and Delilah shows a 91% probability that it is not actually by Rubens (“Were the famous Samson and Delilah really painted by Rubens? No, says AI”, News). As early as 1992, along with other artists Steve Harvey and Sian Hopkinson, I submitted a report to the gallery presenting clear stylistic, technical and documentary evidence against the painting. This report is available, along with a new video summarizing the case, at www.inRubensName.org.

Our research has been sidelined and often ridiculed. The National Gallery has too often relied on the authority of a small group of Rubens’ experts, while ignoring the evidence of common sense for all to see. Admittedly, there is no longer any doubt that this contentious work, purchased for a record sum by the gallery with public money, was a costly mistake. But after three decades of obscuration, what is really at stake here is the credibility of the artistic establishment as a whole.

In 1997, the gallery promised to organize a public debate on this painting. It is now possible for them to finally keep this promise, with the openness and transparency that we expect from all our public institutions.
Euphrosyne Doxiadis
Athens

Feminists, work together

Sonia Sodha’s article was a breath of fresh air (“White feminists are attacked by other women. There can only be one winner – men”, Commentary). We deeply need such voices to challenge the vogue for making women – and white feminists in particular – the source of all evil. Rafia Zakaria’s book Against white feminism illustrates this unappetizing trend.

Over the past 40 years, I have been involved in a plethora of feminist activities, from fundraising for the education of women and girls in developing countries to the establishment of a support center for women and girls. rape victims in Sheffield. And I know a lot of other women who do the same. Using guilt and blame to cripple ordinary women like me – grassroots activists who make sweeping breakthroughs – is so counterproductive it’s tragic. As Sodha says, the only thing that attacks women like us “will never do is change the world for the better.” We will continue to try to make this change, even if we have to brave Zakaria’s contempt and ridicule in the process.
Jo adams
Abingdon, Oxfordshire

An identity error

I really expected the article “‘Elite v plebs’: Oxford’s rivalries between boys who would never become men” (News) to deal with the makeup of our current government.
Jennifer Mirdamadi
Liverpool


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