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Genetic engineered crops future side effects

by nature's chain reaction not noticable today Wednesday, Dec. 03, 2003 at 1:11 AM

Genetically engineered foods side effects can appear decades after their initial introduction in the mid 90's. Just like nuclear waste, petrochemical pollution (DDT bioaccumulation, smog, global warming) and other technofix nightmares, genetically engineered crops can still be prevented from causing further damage..

When dealing with genetic engineering and other techofix "solutions" to problems created by outdated technofixes.. (pesticides sprayed over land and sea replaced by drifting GE corn pollen containing Bacillus thuringensis [Bt] toxins)

..we begin to notice a disturbing pattern in the delayed side effects of technofix products that nobody believes until it is too late..

Did Henry Ford/Rockefeller think about global warming and smog when they began mass producing automobiles/petroleum fuel decades ago? (scientists predicted global warming in the seventies but were ignored by businessmen until record heat waves across the globe made it impossible to ignore)

Did DuPont think about pesticides like DDT bioaccumulating in birds of prey like eagles, making their shells too soft?

(Rachel Carson knew there was a problem years before "Silent Spring" was published, though patriarchal corporate scientists laughed at her)

The elites like Ford and DuPont probably don't care about the side effects of these technologies, and the corporate workers/scientists may believe they are performing a service that will benefit humanity. They believe in their technofix so much that they are walking through fog with blinders, intent only on the "benefits" of their technologies..

The clean up of nuclear waste, petrochemical residues in rivers and other technofix waste/side effects become the burdens of the future generations..

..our burden is heavy enough without the additional weight of genetic engineering and mutated DNA chain reactions..

from article by Lawrence Tsimese

"You hear a lot of scientists and policy makers making statements such as this: “For the benefit of humankind, we must end the squabbling over biotechnology and allow objectivity to prevail. Its ability to feed the hungry, heal the sick and make life better for billions of people is too great to lose to fear and confusion.”

But despite the tantalising picture of what biotechnology will do for the starving millions in Africa and other parts of the third world, there is growing awareness that genetic engineering is a central means by which global capitalism is consolidating its control over our food and health care. Biotechnology has helped drive unprecedented corporate concentration in both agribusiness and the pharmaceutical centres. Many of these corporate entities, particularly the agribusiness giants, think Africa lacks the technological expertise to meet her food requirements and so are doing everything possible to lure governments to adopt the GE technology as a panacea to end hunger as well as stimulating economic prosperity.

GE crops however promote monoculture. In Africa and other developing countries, farmers successfully control pests by encouraging biodiversity in their fields and encouraging beneficial insects and crops. The Food and Agriculture Organisation points out that more plant diversity has been lost to industrial agriculture than to any other cause. GE crops will increase that problem.

Scientists have shown that reductions in biodiversity have led to the evolution of aggressive pests and diseases which are more difficult to control than those from which they have been derived (RA Ennos, The influence of agriculture on genetic biodiversity, BCPC, 1997.)

Millions of farmers in developing countries rely on farm-saved seeds for their crops: but once they begin to buy GE seeds they will be dependent on future purchases. Monsanto prohibits seed-saving (Monsanto Roundup Ready – Gene Agreement for Roundup Ready Soybeans, 1996).

The fact that such a technology is largely in the hands of the private sector in the north can lead to biases in the type of research that is being done. It is only logical that a large company would tend to aim at large world-wide markets for their products. Such products might not necessarily be appropriate for small farmers in developing countries, who tend to work in highly variable and vulnerable ecosystems and need seeds that are location specific.

In that sense, biotechnology might undermine food security in Africa rather than secure it. Indeed if the biotech corporations want to feed the hungry they should instead encourage sustainable land reform that puts farmers back onto the land and push for wealth redistribution that allows the poor to buy food of their choice. "



My question to the people of Earth ---

How many times do we need to make same mistakes by overestimating our ability to understand and control nature through technofix "solutions" like genetic engineering?









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Can you offer any hypotheses? Dagny Wednesday, Dec. 03, 2003 at 1:15 PM
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