1.WELCOME TO CHANNEL 4's LATEST DODGY DOC - GM Watch
2.WELCOME TO CHANNEL 4'S ANIMAL FARM - Media release for Animal Farm
1.WELCOME TO CHANNEL 4'S LATEST DODGY DOC
Question: How could Channel 4 possibly follow up Martin Durkin's 'The Great Global Warming Swindle'?
Answer: With 'Animal Farm', a new Channel 4 series on GM and cloned animals, and GM crops like Golden Rice.
It's presented by two guides from supposedly opposing viewpoints. One is Dr Olivia Judson, who's described by the Times as 'a biological scientist with a hint of Greta Scacchi, who scoffs at "latterday nature worship" and believes that anticapitalist conspiracies are behind much of our revulsion at the biotech revolution.' According to Dr Judson, 'Every country has its own hysteria. Here it's genetic manipulation.'
Her co-presenter on Animal Farm is food critic Giles Coren, whose other recent TV appearance has been as the new face of big food firm Bird's Eye in their TV ads.
Needless to say, Dr Judson largely wins over Coren to the view that, as Coren told The Times, 'There's a lot of prejudice and hysteria about genetically modified crops and cloning.' According to Coren, 'now I... know that if you plant a load of genetically modified crops there's really no chance at all of modified genes being transferred to surrounding plants.' [!!!]
Coren also tells us, 'I can see that having GM crops that are resistant to pests is a better way of farming for people in poor countries, and better for the environment.' Making the programme, he says, made him realise Man has been 'playing with genes for a long time'. And, as the Times notes, 'he's obviously hugely impressed by techniques of introducing vitamin-producing genes into nutritionally barren crops grown in central Africa, improving diet and reducing blindness in children at the same time.'
Given the considerable naivete displayed in these comments, Coren appears to have been something of a straw man to put up against the clued up Dr Olivia Judson, who came to TV fame in the biology series 'Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation'.
That series was also broadcast by Channel 4. Here are its credits:
Director: DURKIN, Martin
Production Company: Wag TV
[Managing Director: Martin Durkin]
Executive Producer: DURKIN, Martin
In addition to 'The Great Global Warming Swindle', Durkin, of course, brought us Channel 4's previous pro-GM documentary - 'The Rise and Fall of GM'.
What a small world.
2.Media release for Animal Farm
SHEEP WITH HUMAN ORGANS, GOATS THAT PRODUCE SPIDER WEB IN THEIR MILK, RABBITS WITH FLUORESCENT EYES AND AN ALLOTMENT OF GROWING HUMAN NOSES: WELCOME TO CHANNEL 4'S ANIMAL FARM
Over recent years, GM, cloning and tissue engineering have been advancing and are poised to change how we live forever.
Animal Farm is a new three part series starting on Channel 4 at 9pm on 19th March that brings together many of these experiments under one genetically modified roof. Presented by Olivia Judson and Giles Coren, the series delves into the science behind the headlines to offer viewers a unique look at the science fiction that is fast becoming science fact.
The first programme in the series investigates the extraordinary creatures that can be produced using sex alone. From the cows with double the muscle mass of the ordinary bovine counterparts, to the chickens completely devoid of feathers, this is breeding on a whole new level. The programme also looks at claims that GM food could help save our dwindling fish stocks with the revolutionary 'Super Salmon' and checks out 'golden rice', a genetically modified rice that has been fortified with beta-carotene that, its creators believe, has the potential to end blindness in the developing world.
Programme two focuses on the latest genetic research that could directly affect our health, including sheep with human organs in them that could help alleviate waiting lists for transplants and plasma cows that could solve the threat of bioterrorism. The programme also looks at a product called MySkin a revolutionary tissue engineering technique that takes a small sample of human skin and multiplies the cells to artificially grow more. This technique is already being used to treat people suffering from chronic burns but, as Giles and Olivia discover, could in the future be used to grow body parts such as noses, ears and even vital organs like livers and bladders.
The final programme in the series looks at how genetics are set to impact on our lifestyle and daily lives. Charmayne James, one of America's most successful female rodeo riders, talks about how she has cloned her champion steed Scamper who is now too old to compete in tournaments. Viewers will meet the original Scamper and his new twin and discover just how similar they are. The programme also looks at the goats which produce spider web in their milk for the production of everything from bullet-proof jackets, parachutes and air-bags as well as the pigs which may help solve the global pollution crisis.
Down on Channel 4's Animal Farm, Olivia and Giles guide us through this strange new world and the ethical and moral maze surrounding them.
Animal Farm (3 x 60minutes) is produced by Lion TV for Channel 4. Cassian Harrison is executive producer and the commissioning editor for Channel 4 is David Glover.
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