GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Re: Monsanto

Does anybody offer any criticism of this article?
Specifically, are any of the facts quoted below incorrect?
Is it genuine, or classic "greenwash"?
I would appreciate any critique, since the article casts a *very*
favourable light on genetically engineered crops.

>  ---------------------
>  Forwarded message:
>  Subj:    Monsanto
>  Date:    97-02-02 20:07:15 EST
>  From:    LILLISTON
>  To:      Purefood
>  Biotechnology in Monsanto's genes
>  By Sharman Stein
>  Tribune Staff Writer
> <snip>
>  The soybeans are engineered to withstand the spraying of Monsanto's powerful
>  Roundup herbicide--the weeds die but the plants thrive. Before, farmers had
>  to use several herbicides to kill the weeds, both before and during the
>  planting season.  
>  In both cases, growers sprayed far less insecticide (many did not have to
>  spray at all) and reported yield improvements and cost savings.
> <snip>
>  Wentworth, who farms about 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans in Downs, Ill.,
>  just southwest of Bloomington-Normal, planted the Roundup Ready soybeans last
>  year. The yield was at least as good, he said, and in some instances better
>  than other soybeans. And he spent half as much for weed-killing chemicals.

This is a direct contadiction of much of what I have read: so far
predictions have been that *more* Roundup herbicide will be used. Is
there a deliberate play of word games in the use of "insecticide" and
Any facts from anyone regarding whether less or more herbicide will be

>  In the rice fields of Indonesia, he said, the use of Roundup to kill weeds
>  efficiently means that farmers spend less time, and can plant two crops in
>  the same time they previously planted one.
>  ``They don't have to flood the fields, or work with oxen, just to get rid of
>  the weeds,'' Donald said. ``This is transforming the way food is produced;
>  it's much more than killing some weeds.''

Is this the only reasons rice paddies are flooded?
Presumably the "working with oxen" won't change unless those gene
splicing bio-boffins have designed rice to harvest itself!

Thanks in advance,

Jon Buckingham