.c The Associated Press
LONDON (AP) - Prince Charles, who owns an organic farm, called today for a
public debate on the merits of allowing genetically engineered food to be
grown in Britain.
``(Such alteration) takes mankind into realms that belong to God, and to God
alone,'' he wrote in The Daily Telegraph.
His comments came a day after Swiss voters decisively rejected a proposal to
outlaw the production and patenting of genetically modified plants and
U.S. biotechnology giant Monsanto Co. has launched a multimillion-dollar
advertising campaign to convince Europeans of the safety of genetically
The prince said genetic modification, designed to make crops pest-resistant or
stay fresh longer, raised ``crucial ethical and practical considerations.''
``Apart from certain highly beneficial and specific medical applications, do
we have the right to experiment with, and commercialize, the building blocks
of life?'' he asked.
The prince said choice backed by comprehensive labeling was needed.
``I personally have no wish to eat anything produced by genetic manipulation,
nor do I knowingly offer this sort of produce to my family or guests,'' he
The genetically modified crops are not allowed in Britain, but some companies
are seeking government approval to try the procedure.
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