RE: The politics of biotechnology

Billy Brown (
Tue, 1 Jun 1999 14:42:58 -0500

On Tuesday, June 01, 1999 9:51 AM, Anders Sandberg [] wrote:
> I am reading the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of
> Sciences (, containing the talks from a conference on
> world food supply. A very cheering view really; while there certainly
> are some big problems to solve the overall future looks reasonably
> bright globally (locally, there might still be plenty of
> trouble). However, one factor that appears to be very important for
> this to become true is the spread of biotechnology from the North to
> the South, and several speakers mentioned the problem of balancing
> intellectual property and profit with the need to get bioengineered
> crops to the poor countries. The problems appear to be economical and
> politicial in this area, not technical. The consensus seemed to be
> that what we need to fix food shortages is richer poor countries. Any
> ideas for extropian solutions of biotech spread?

Sure. Get the poor countries to legalize foreign ownership of agricultural operations within thier territories. Then there would be an incentive for organizations with capital to invest in modern farms in these areas, and there would be no need for any kind of government program.

Of course, this would also mean a rapid reduction in the number of farmers, so they need to have someplace for the displaced workers to get jobs. Free market reforms, anyone?

Billy Brown