You stated in your note:
>3. The history of agriculture -- particularly in the past couple of
>centuries -- is one of wholesale tinkering with genomes. It is true
>relatively little genetic material has been moved between crop or
>livestock species (since the technology to do so was limiting).
>introduction of old world crop (and non-crop) species to the new world
>-- and vice versa -- have had pretty profound ecological effects in some
>areas (tumbleweeds, gypsy moths, nutria, potato, wheat, rye, oats,
>soybeans, rabbits, cattle, sheep -- the list goes on and on). Do we
>expend the energy on verifying that new crop introductions are locally
>benign that we do in assessing the risks of GE organisms?
Extremely little, if any, energy was spent in verifying whether new
introductions of crops or non-crop plants or animals was benign in the
past. It was just done. In the more recent past, some small attempt was
made to appease those objecting by doing a "study" here and there. But
those were not true, in depth studies as I am sure you are aware. You
mentioned a few. Right here in PR there were several, some of which
turned out to be beneficial, some benign, and a few (or maybe more than a
few) caused more problems than they solved. We now have all but
eradicated the snail that is the primary carrier of the parasite that
causes Balarzia by the careful introduction of a species of snail that
devoured all the carriers and then turned cannibalistic and destroyed
itself. But that one excellent result is overshadowed by the now rabid
population of mongoose that was introduced to get rid of rats and snakes.
We still have both BTW. There are many more examples I cold cite.
But, from where I sit, I don't see anywhere nearly enough care being
taken to determine if these genetically engineered crops and the hormone
injections and so on are going to be harmful or not. I do see some of
them as having been shown to be harmful and they are still with us, and
still being sold and grown. Not only that, there appears to be a
concerted effort by the corporations and our own government to make it
impossible to get rid of them by such actions as mixing the GE soybeans
with normal soybeans.
You go on to say much of this in later paragraphs. I think what I am
saying is I agree with your position, but....Maybe we need to yell just a
bit louder. Maybe we need to push the government (and ultimately the
corporations) into conducting much more comprehensive studies before
unleashing these possible monsters onto an unsuspecting world population.
--Dan in Sunny Puerto Rico--