>But when private seed companies try to insure through U.S. law that
>consumers cannot tell whether they have inserted bacterial genes in their
>seed, surely someone is trying to mislead. Dale, does your company
believe in "truth in labeling"?
Seed companies obviously want to avoid, for their customers, the
enormous practical problems of trying to label everything derived from
their products as "GMO". Clearly this would be expensive, and might
turn off some customers.
Now I don't know what Pioneer's official line is on this (I'm not
serving as an official spokesperson!), but I can tell you my
observations about the way people close to the technology think about
transgenenics and risk. They don't regard the risk from transgenics as
unique, compared to plant breeding in general, and don't quite
understand what all the fuss is about. After all, bacterial and
protozoan DNA is already all over and inside the food you eat. The risk
from a single, well, characterized gene, evaluated for hazards, pales
greatly in comparison to things like intact Giardia, E-coli, and
My opinion is that the changes and gyrations brought about by natural
selection, traditional breeding, and cultural practices overshadow
transgenic manipulations in terms of scope and risk. Activists harp on
the supposed human hazards of GMO's because they see an opportunity to
stir up trouble among the anthropocentric, and monkeywrench technology
that they despise for essentially esthetic or political reasons.
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