Saturday, 10 March 2012

Genetically modified. Innovative. Productive.

With the focus on Australian productivity, and the decline in manufacturing, we will soon be seeing stories about the innovation of Australian industry.  Today's announcement by the Queensland University of Technology developing genetically modified, iron-rich bananas for the Indian market is a great example.

We should praise scientific innovation - including GM

There has been a lot of criticism of GM food over recent years, but little focus on the benefits.  One of the world's great problems is food security.  As the world's population grows, we need to find methods to increase the amount of nutritious food grown on our limited amount of arable land.

GM is a fantastic example of scientific innovation.  If GM can add iron to bananas, that's something for Australians to be proud of.  Sure, there are many criticisms of GM - some valid, some less so - but the road from innovation to success is never a straight one.

Manufacturing productivity not old style factories

As Australia rapidly moves away from old manufacturing to new, value-added manufacturing, we should encourage scientific advances in agriculture.  The more that we shine a positive light on high-tech research and development efforts leading to high-tech manufacturing, the less we will be concerned about the loss of old-style factory jobs.

Libertarians support the free market

Philosophically, I'm also in support of less controls rather than more over new innovation.  If we want to be productive, and creative, we should release the chains on new ideas.  Whether it is the production of GM crops, or the creation of edgy art and movies, let's embrace new ideas - even if they subsequently fail.

It's good to see positive stories about Australian science and innovation.  Let's keep focusing on the good, not the bad.

Let me know what you think

Mark S

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