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There were never any "good old days" — they are today, they are tomorrow
sentences that tell you "nope, no need to finish reading this article" 
30th-Jun-2006 12:05 pm
shh nobody cares what you think
From an article in Policy Review, now published by the Hoover Institution:
Scientists agree, however, that gene-spliced crops and foods are not only better for the natural environment than conventionally produced food crops, but also safer for consumers.
"Scientists agree". Really? Which ones? How many of them? Would those be the same scientists that agree there's no validity to global warming climate change?
1st-Jul-2006 01:32 am (UTC) - Probably the ones who are taking a paycheck
from the same people who are keeping the lights on at the Hoover Instution, I would bet any money.

(If I had any money, that is)
3rd-Jul-2006 04:55 pm (UTC) - Re: Probably the ones who are taking a paycheck
"Hoover" is definitely a name with mixed associations for me: fond feelings about Hoover Tower (site of much childhood amusement wading in the fountain as my dad surreptitiously tossed in coins for me to "find"), significantly cooler feelings for the Hoover Institution (buncha right-wing, reactionary propagandists).

If only there'd been an Adlai Stevenson Tower with a fountain in front when I was a kid... :-)
1st-Jul-2006 01:51 pm (UTC)
Ah, but see, Bush asked a lot of his supporters to officially change their last name to "Scientist". So when they say "Scientists agree", they do not mean those who work in scientific fields, but this small group of people who are named Scientist.

In some sense, they are right. More efficient growth means less nutrients needed, and better pest repelling whatevers means fewer pesticides needed. Both are good for the environment, and the latter is safer for consumers.

That doesn't mean it's a good idea overall. They don't mention the freakishly large mutant salmon escaping from salmon farms and competing with normal salmon, destroying them. They don't mention that super-celery will eventually replace all varieties of celery, which is a bad thing, because once there is no genetic diversity, a single efficient attack can wipe out the entire species.

What scares me more, though, is how all our use of antibiotics and antibacterials is basically causing bacteria and virii to evolve at an insane pace. Pretty soon there will be some superbacteria out there that we have bred to be effective and resistant to everything out there. Talk about your positive feedback loop...
3rd-Jul-2006 04:58 pm (UTC)
I've read predictions that bananas as we know them may well be extinct in 10 years. Almost all the commercially-grown bananas in the world are clones (grown from cuttings) of a single, seedless variety, and apparently the various nasties that find bananas a hospitable environment (molds, pests, etc.) are evolving faster than banana growers' ability to fight them.

Antibiotic-resistant organisms are SCARY. *shudder*
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