Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.
The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Prisoners of Azkaban
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Oops, I Did it Again
Gregg Easterbrook is factually challenged once again:
Gene engineering may be a spooky idea for people, but for crop plants, all current projects aim toward higher yield, lower pesticide and fertilizer use, the ability to grow in less-than-prime soils--all things that improve the odds that the developing world will be able to feed itself until human population growth peaks sometime in this century.
In fact, the most common line of genetically engineered products currently on the market is sold by Monsanto, and is a group of "Roundup ready" crops designed to be resistant to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, allowing more rather than less pesticide use. At least with soy (most US soy acreage is now GE) Roundup ready fields get sprayed with 11% more pesticide and produce, for unknown reasons, 5 - 10% lower yield. Roundup ready soy also has reduced ability to fix nitrogen, resulting in more need for fertilizer. In addition, there is evidence that the widespread use of Roundup is now causing mutations that will ultimately lead to 'Roundup ready' weeds. Since those drawbacks might not be enough to reduce Mr Easterbrook's enthusiasm, I'll note one more - at the same time that GM soy became widely used by consumers, allergic reactions to soy and soy products soared.
Monsanto also produces Roundup ready wheat, cotton, canola, and corn.