Friday, October 22, 1999, 12:31:31 PM, you wrote:
CB> ... Will a major company emerge that is focused on biopesticides
CB> and non-GMO alternatives?
The one that does (and does a competent job) will do well.
CB> ... Each merger will be built upon a multi-billion dollar bet on
CB> the technologies and products that will shape agriculture in the
CB> decades ahead.
That is exactly right. That's what's at stake!
CB> Clearly, the newly formed companies will articulate a business
CB> plan/strategy that includes a pretty substantial repositioning of genetic
CB> engineering. But if not GMOs, then what?
How about true (non-recombinant) genetics; real, intelligent and
comprehensive research (both in "the wild" and in field trials) and
development, based on the same biological, evolutionary processes that
have got us (and everything else) up to this point; without running
the highly unnecessary and irresponsible risks associated with
technologies motivated largely on their ability to become subject to
proprietary schemes designed to proportion an immodest degree of world
domination, in least in their considerable market niches - that drag
almost everything else along with it.
(Hi Dale. I thought you'd like that one? Incidentally, did you filter
me out of your mailbox? The last posts to you came back). Which is
exactly why they have been rejected - this time; acceptable limits
were over-stepped, and that was recognized (more so in Europe, to
begin with - Europe being a more plural, less monopoly controlled
entity. But no need to worry - your talents will still be in demand,
especially since you do a good job at approaching a problem within the
confines of it's own criteria and the resources you've already
developed. Dale looks for answers and doesn't give up, and that's
CB> And what will the consequences be on farm income and
CB> profitability, food safety and consumers, and the environment and
CB> sustainable agriculture systems?
It's going to take a while to take form.
CB> Another intriguing question -- environmental activism, consumer
CB> pressure and global market forces have clearly contributing to the
CB> undermining of the economic performance of today's version of an
CB> ag biotech-based "life science" corporation.
An important precedent.
CB> But it remains to be seen whether and how these same forces will
CB> find ways to act constructively by shaping alternative corporate
CB> structures and strategies which will better meet the needs of
CB> society, the environment and consumers.
Very well put, Charles. You are always seem to manage to be
constructive and well focused, consistent and congruent; and I want to
congratulate you on that.
CB> Many people have found personal reasons to just say "no" to
CB> genetic engineering as recently relied upon in shaping new
CB> agricultural technologies.
Once again, an important precedent.
CB> But will consumers and activists find a way to say "yes" to
CB> alternative approaches, technologies, and business strategies in a
CB> clear enough way to influence how Wall Street uses its enormous
CB> clout in financing this next, critical stage of corporate
That's the question, all right. My personal answer is "yes", and I'll
certainly continue to work on a corner of it myself. (That is, bet on
it with my own life). Of course it will take many more doing the
same in an intentionally or unintentionally coordinated way, to become
reality. Charles' post represents an excellent convocation for that.
(Charles Benbrook is another of the protagonists I chose to debate the
Avery's in that never to be programmed, imaginary event).
Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural, Asociacion Civil
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