Wednesday, 23 June 2010

GE is in clover

While Greens and former Greens wring their hands in dubiety over the proposal here to use a genetically engineered clover as animal feed in order to reduce agricultural emissions (in simpler words, to reduce animals’ farts, and with them their putatively dangerous greenhouse gases), genetically engineered horticulture has been safely and successfully covering the planet and improving both production and prices. Says Time magazine in a recent reassessment of so-called “Frankenfood,”
_Quote Some 740 million acres (300 million hectares) are planted with GM crops, about equally divided between North America and the rest of the world — primarily Argentina and Brazil…
    Advocates see biotech as a no-brainer, the only way to boost yields while escaping the trends of a growing world population (now 6.8 billion, heading beyond 9 billion by 2050) and finite cropland nourished by stressed water resources … [while] reducing pesticide use (a major source of water contamination) by about 10%.
And the number of documented safety problems with all this? None. Not one.  [See this good summation and dismissal of most of the anti-GE myths that are so frequently peddled.]

Any sane person would see all this a good thing, a very, very good thing—more food for more people at less environmental cost—as a sober illustration that the frequent Malthusian rants about “running out” are just so much ignorant cant.  That so many Green persons are still in hand-wringing mode might lead one either to question whatever supposed sanity one might to grant them with, or to surmise that perhaps the primary reason for their Malthusian opposition to genetic engineering is that it almost single-handedly overthrows all their defeatist arguments about our inevitable doom.

As I’ve been saying for a while. And Mike Moore pointed out very well back in 2005:

_QuoteGenetically modified foods offer us the opportunity to feed a hungry world. It is hard to see how we will provision the world and lower the use of dangerous insecticides and fertilisers without enlisting the new forces of science.
    Of course we must be prudent, cautious and seek high standards, because science can move faster than our moral, ethical or legal capacity to cope. But those who wish to destroy science have as their forefathers those who burned so-called witches, not the heroes who freed the slaves. These small groups, which exaggerate the dangers to a gullible media, represent pre-Enlightenment thinking.

1 comment:

  1. We have been genetically modifying plants (and animals) since about 10 thousand years ago.

    Seems to have gone all right...


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.