Synbio Director Interviewed for Article on GM Crops – University of Copenhagen

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21 August 2013

Synbio Director Interviewed for Article on GM Crops

In an article in the Danish national newspaper Information, Birger Lindberg Møller weighs in on the debate on gentically modified crops, and explains why he stopped doing GM crop research years ago and changed his focus to technologies based on synthetic biology in contained systems. 

The article marks the final exit by GM crops company Monsanto from the Danish market, by interviewing various participants in the Danish GM crop debate. Among them  Birger Lindberg Møller, who points out that the GM debate in Denmark quickly polarized and inflamed to a degree that made rational discussions nearly impossible. He is surprised that the media has presented him as an advocate of the GM-crop companies, despite the fact that he is not collaborating with Monsanto and that he represented the Association of Danish Agriculture in a lawsuit against the company.

"I am dissappointed how Monsanto are misinterpreting their own data. But environmentalist organizations like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are also misinterpreting data. Deliberately or because they do not know any better" says Birger Lindberg Møller and continues: 

"When young, competent students and researchers see the misconducted experiments and misinterpretations in the publications within this field, they get a distorted view on what good research praxis is. Scientifically and morally."

Due to the moratorium on GM crops and the polarized debate climate, Professor Møller has ceased using genetic engineering for the development of foods. Instead he has turned his focus towards understanding how medicinal plants produce compounds that can be used to treat e.g. cancer. By using genetic engineering these medicinal properties are given to algae or moss cultures, that can be grown in contained systems. 

The article also features interviews with representatives from Greenpeace, a researcher from Department of Food and Resource Economy at UCPH among others. 

Read the complete article in Danish here: 
http://www.information.dk/469266

Read about Birger Lindberg Møller's research here:
https://synbio.ku.dk/blm