Sometimes it is impossible to evade the political referrence, hence my subject
title, a paraphrase of a statement variously and dubiously attributed to Marie
I am writing to ask of the regulatory/academic community represented on SANET
that they take a deeper look at the work the National Research Council
agricultural panel is doing on genetic engineering. I hope you can comment
back to them by 8 April 99. I have a feeling that the elite folks on the panel
may look a bit more carefully at papers and responses that may come from a
dot-gov or dot-edu realm than my cranky compost-covered viewpoint. My bias has
been showing for a long time.
Scientifically speaking, if the NRC spectacle were equivalent to scientific
testing, and I was going to run a lab analysis, I would determine that I would
have to throw out Monsanto's comments and the organic farmer comments because
they skew the results. Nez pas?
Here on SANET we have been dosed with a steady stream of contrarian
information that may lead one at least to assume that biotechnology
applications in agriculture have been commercially introduced without proper
review. How any crop entomologist concluded that Bt resistance would not
result from having it at large for 100 days fence row to fence row in cotton
and corn is amazing to me when one considers that acquired pest resistance is
so universally proven and now assumed.
But, hey, I just have an art degree.
There are economic and social considerations that might be just as apt for the
National Research Council to review because those aspects motivated government
to approve and promote the technology as much as proposed pest and weed
control innovations did. How can the spectre of famine guide us now when we
still plant millions of acres of corn to produce ethanol and vast acreage is
dedicated to sugar cane production in the tropics? Sugar is just another
momentary commestible luxury that would not be grown if officials really
wanted to feed people, when and if the market for staple foods indicated
better returns from sweet potatoes and corn. Now that petroleum is going to be
more expensive, does that mean that a seller's market is coming for corn?
More later on all of that.
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