GENTECH archive


Re: reply to archive 1112

    Be careful with what you are calling arable land. Land that is being grazed
for cattle may or may not be arable. One of the things that has been learned the
hard way in the U.S. is that some land should not be cultivated; its ecology is
too fragile. Our semi-arid and arid regions are good examples of this.
Furthermore, while some land may be arable, it may not receive enough rainfall to
make it sustainably arable. Such land would require irrigation, which often
brings its own problems. Grazing, when done in a well-planned and managed way,
allows us to use unarable land to produce food. While I agree that much of the
arable land, in the U.S., is used for growing crops for livestock feed. Our
society, however, has chosen to be a meat-eating society and until we, as a
society, decide to change that aspect of our lifestyles, that land used for
growing livestock feed will essentially remain out of reach for production of
human feed. wrote:

> Not true, Mr. Roush! You could grow your transgenic crops in your own
> personal garden with mile-high fences to ensure that no cross-pollination
> occurs with anybody else's crops. You could also do the genetic engineering
> in highly secured laboratories where no waste matter is allowed to exit.
> Then, those of you who enjoy eating mutated plants can have your day!
> The difference with medicines, you see, is that in the case of medicines
> there is the issue of informed consent. I, as a patient, may refuse
> recombinant drugs or vaccines after having been appropriately informed of the
> issues. Also, there is a risk/benefit tradeoff -- these drugs may address a
> life-threatening condition and I may be willing to take the risk.
> Neither of these cases is true with regard to transgenic crops. There is no
> informed consent and there is no justifiable risk/benefit issue, as there are
> lots of other things for people to eat. There is more than enough food to
> feed the world -- people are hungry because they can't afford to buy the food
> that is there. There is more than enough land to grow the food on -- 50% of
> the world's arable land mass is being used for cattle grazing, and a lot of
> the remaining arable land is used to grow crops for feeding livestock. And,
> of course, most of those cattle are consumed by the developing countries.
> There is also no evidence that transgenic crops increase yield, despite the
> claims of the biotechnology companies. At best, they address the issue of
> pesticides and herbicides.
> I have had to stop eating tofu, one of my favorite foods, because I have been
> unable to find a guaranteed GMO-free source of it. The tofu companies "don't
> know" and "can't guarantee". This is an unconsented-for imposition on my
> lifestyle for which I find Monsanto responsible.
> - Nina Moliver
> In a message dated 5/10/1999 10:23:35 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> writes:
> << Arguing that no amount of tests can ever provide enough answers allows no
>  compromises and will clearly satisfy only the opponents of transgenic
>  crops.
>  Rick >>
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