Re: Glowing Grass

Date: Sun Jul 09 2000 - 14:01:17 MDT

Greg Burch forwards:
> MARYSVILLE, Ohio -- Standing in long rows in Greenhouse No. 3 at the Scotts
> Co.'s research laboratory are pots of grass that could be a suburbanite's
> dream come true.
> The grass, which Scotts hopes will eventually carpet every lawn and golf
> course around the world, is genetically altered to withstand applications of
> the most potent weedkillers and remain healthy and green.

We see the problem right here. Over and over, genetic engineering is
being associated with activities which will put more poisons into the

Grass that stays green is fine. Grass which can withstand high doses of
weedkillers is not! People don't want to live in neighborhoods which
use extra-high amounts of weedkillers. They see it as a health hazard
and a form of exposure to toxic chemicals.

Many of the earlier well-publicized uses of genetic engineering fell
into this category. Roundup-resistant soybeans would allow herbicides
to be used on crops where they can't be used now. Great, this way we
can eat more herbicides. Other changes would cause plants to create
their own insecticides. This way they can't be washed off and so we
end up consuming them.

The biochemical companies need to pull their heads out of wherever they've
stuck them, and start coming up with uses which won't be public releations
disasters. Plants with extra vitamins and nutrients, plants which can
aid people in the Third World, these are the kinds of applications people
will support. Finding ways to get more harmful chemicals into food is
not a productive course of action.


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