Three years ago Rothamsted Research conducted a trial of genetically modified wheat in Hertfordshire. The wheat was supposed to have been designed to emit an odour which repels aphids, thus improving yields without the need to use harmful pesticides. The trail cost three million pounds, most of which was spent on secure fencing to protect the trial against those who oppose GMO crops and might like to have harmed the crop.
The experiment proved that the GMO wheat did not deter aphids and there was no difference in insect attack between the GMO crop and traditional crops. For some reason, which no doubt someone can explain to me, the cost was borne by taxpayers, and not the designer of the GMO wheat, Monsanto.
This is another example of politicians who attempt to invest public money in what seems to them to be good ideas to advance humanity’s welfare. Most advances come not from public money being used by very wealthy corporations, but by garage industries that sometimes accidentally find a way to fulfill a need and do so without public money but by their own ingenuity, by attracting investors who are prepared to take risks and by hard work and imagination.