Genetically Engineered Corn
jgj23 at mindspring.com
Sun Mar 24 19:29:51 EST 2002
Leigh wrote in part:
>But beside the allergies, if they exist, my real problem with bt corn
>is the small minded, short term profit seeking of the company that is
>making it. Bt is a very useful solution to caterpillar damage.
>However, by inserting Bt genes into corn the scientist that did it,
>and they company that markets it knows (its in their literature) that
>this will create bt resistant caterpillars. They know (and its in
>their literature), that within several decades (if not sooner) there
>will be bt resistant insects. That by creating and marketing bt corn
>the company is making a short term profit at the expense of the long
>term effectiveness of bt.
Let's think about this a little more... and extend our thoughts down
the road a number of years. Though we are "dead in the long run,"
succeeding generations enjoy the fruits of our positive labors
or suffer the consequences of our follies.
It is so with the unchecked burning of fossil fuels and global
warming -- and so it will be with genetically modified crops
and the unforeseen consequences they bring.
The easy way out for farmers, big agriculture, big science and
the politicians they support is to minimize the risks of BT corn
and put off concerns about the side effects until they require
an "expensive" solution, of course to be provided at the public's
Just as the "transfer of wealth" is promoted by Third World
countries as the solution to their problems, big agribusiness
promotes ending world hunger as a universal solution to
all the world's problems. Neither is true. Both are marketing
BT corn is about patents and market share. Nothing else.
Fortunately, people around the globe are smarter than the
politicians they elect and the special interests the politicians
curry favor and financing from. People are also smarter than
the agriscientists splicing genes to bring you BT corn.
People need to keep complaining about BT corn, and other
such abominations, because enlightened firms such as Trader
Joe's, and others like it, understand there is a real market for
unaltered crops. As long as the public votes with its wallet,
business takes the hint.
I know that many farmers, politicians and scientists want to
believe that BT corn is harmless, no different than strains of
corn produced by selective crossbreeding. But nothing
could be further from the Truth. Selectively altering a plant's
or animal's DNA does not include the randomness that is
so much a part of crossbreeding.
Nature has a much better track record of producing healthy
species, with sufficient variation in genetic makeup to provide
strength and longevity, without quick negative side effects.
The same cannot be said of Man.
My $ 0.02.
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