Friday, December 30, 2005
Review of Genetic Agriculture Thus Far
C|Net news has a review
of biotech and agriculture that does a good job of pointing out many of the failures and problems with GE crops. It also does a lot of apologizing for the industry and speculates that, despite problems, GE agriculture will win over the world yet. It also makes a couple of misleading claims. One being that GE crops are only 10 years old this year. Ernest Jaworski genetically modified a tobacco and petunia plant to resist antibiotics for Monsanto in 1982. And although it wasn't introduced into the market, the first recombinant product wasn't a crop, but bovine somatotropin (Bst) for dairy cows in 1994. According to Monsanto's official records
anyway. The other major misleading statement is that progress in GE crop consumption in the US is the result of consumer acceptance. According to the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology
, the average US consumer knows little about biotechnology and food, yet do express a desire for strong regulation of biotech and are especially weary of GE animals. The strategy of biotech companies like Monsanto has been to keep the public ill informed all along, and when necessary, develop a strong PR campaign
that misleads people as to what is being done with GE.