The New Scientist I am reading right now (5 February 2011 - Australian edition - page 12) has an item on the development of a new genetically modified cassava. Cassava is an easily grown tropical starch vegetable that is a major contributor to nutrition among the poor of sub-Saharan Africa. While it feeds many millions, it has several problems. 1. It is low in protein. 2. It is high in cyanide. Improperly prepared, eating cassava can kill or make people ill from cyanide poisoning. However, introducing a gene from sweet potato increases the protein content to a much healtheir level, and reduces cyanide dramatically. So in one go, they reduce the major risk and reduce protein deficiency illness. This cassava has been developed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and will be given free to poor African farmers. There is absolutely no way in the world that anyone can credibly complain that this GM version might be riskier than the old version. Reducing cyanide dramatically reduces risk. The only downside is that it will take a further 5 years or so before it is widely available. So, is this not a clear cut example of GM technologies doing far more good than harm?