Spring Gillard

High Tech Words from a Low Tech Man

When I was writing the chapter on genetically modified foods for my latest book, I came across this great quote from Dr. David Suzuki, Canadian geneticist, broadcaster and local hero. “Any scientist who tells you [GM foods are] safe is either very stupid or deliberately lying.” (Common Ground Magazine, December, 1999).

When I contacted Dr. Suzuki to confirm the quote, he said he stands by it today, but did want to qualify it. On December 12, 2007, he sent me the following by fax:

“Biotechnology is a revolutionary area where most of our current ideas will turn out to be wrong and our application of technologies will have completely unpredictable consequences. So any scientist who says with authority he or she knows a new technology is completely safe is either totally ignorant of history and the limits of reductionist science (therefore stupid) or does know but says it anyways (so is lying).”

Quotes from Dr. Suzuki’s books are sprinkled throughout my book, as are references to the work of the Suzuki Foundation. Lisa Gue, the Foundation’s environmental health policy analyst reviewed my chapter on pesticides (Silence Spring!).

When I published the book with Smashwords recently, I sent Dr. Suzuki a letter (typed on my computer) by snail mail to let him know. I got a handwritten note in return.  Some low tech ways just can’t be improved upon by high tech.


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