GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Reply to Janelle

>Their MISSION ???, propagating engineered foods.  Lovely evil overtones,
>Brilliant use of words !!!!!!

Of course this is Monsanto's mission (for example). They are even going
to sell their chemical business to go full blast into GE foods.
I feel GE food is evil. The evil overtones are not mine. They stem from
the reality, although I doubt you can see that. (Thanks for the
compliment on word choice.)

>Umm. Not true.  A recent, extensive survey (I have the details if you
>want) in the US showed that (I'm not sure of exact figures) something
>like 60 % of respondants (over the phone) couldn't say what traditional
>(selective) breeding was.  Once the process was explained 30% - 40% of
>respondants believed they had never eaten anything produced by the
>technique and 20%  thought that the process was "morally wrong".  People
>ARE NOT aware of breeding and MANY OTHER agricultural practices (for
>example very few of the 100's of 16-18 year olds that I teach are aware
>that tomatoes are piucked green and chemically ripened at the point of
>sale).  I think that if they were, they would be as appalled as they are
>about "genetic engineering".

If this does reflect the general population, then
I do believe this is very sad. The lack of education
and understanding is the exact environment that makes GE food possible
in the first place. A more educated collective consciousness would not
allow this kind of manipulation.

>The last may be taking things a bit far but this scientist (and
>educator) thanks you for the implied repect !!

I think you are joking. (I like jokes.)

By the way,
I do not disrespect scientists in general.
The point is that the GE food project is,
in my opinion, an embarassment to the scientific community.
The public needs to understand the baselessness and irresponsibility
of their releasing GE organisms onto the population with no
peer-reviewed longitudinal studies showing them safe for the
environment or human consumption.

Some assume GE food safe. Some assume GE food dangerous. This should
be resolved through long-term testing, not through PR or advertising
dollars or marketing or business clout.

>(although surveys show
>that the public trusts scientists less than environmental organisations
>for regulating GE and for providing truthful information)

Well I am glad they have some common sense.

(The scientists would probably do much better than the business
interests that they often work for, or through which
they often derive grant
funding. But most of the public cannot understand such "subtle"
distinctions, as you have just pointed out with your survey about
reproductive crossbreeding--hence the science will take it on the
chin. They deeper problem is lack of coordination between business
and technology, between DNA technology, and good ol common sense.
The requirement to test radical new technology before applying it on
a mass scale.)

But the public will surely
trust mere technicians even less, and that is what those who are
propogating these foods are. Foolish technicians, nothing more.
I do hope you are not in that boat. I do not mean this towards you

Peter Ligotti