Re: SOC/BIO: Rifkin's "worldwide moratorium" on genetically

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Wed Aug 02 2000 - 09:58:43 MDT

Steve wrote:
> > Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 12:47:01 -0400
> > From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <>
> > Subject: Re: SOC/BIO: Rifkin's "worldwide moratorium" on genetically
> > modified organisms
> >> Surely we should err on the side of caution ...... we just don't know
> how
> >> large-scale GM cultivation will impact on the environment. The dangers of
> >> H-bombs &c. is all too apparent, but some new technologies might have
> more
> >> subtle dangers. We are not living in sci-fi fantasy .... if things go
> wrong
> >> in the world they effect real lives.
> >Plant pollen is not like grey goo, so stop giving it that level of
> >alarmism.
> You made the initial comparison with H-bombs ...... I only point out that
> the dangers are more subtle and we should tread carefully.

No, I compared YOUR fears and level of alarmism to similar levels of alarmism
about nuclear power and nuclear war. I did NOT compare GM to H-bombs. Please
re-read what I posted.

> > It is more like a forest fire, which it is possible to fight
> >and contain and eliminate (much as we have eliminated smallpox and other
> >diseases).
> Yes, but even forest fires are harmful .... and aren't some diseases (TB?)
> that were once thought to have been eliminated fighting back?

They fight back where people don't actually give them a good fight. Resistant TB
strains evolved specifically because people with TB, in their characteristic
lack of attention to detail, stopped taking the antibiotics when they started
feeling better, rather than completing the entire regimen of antibiotics as
instructed by their doctors.

> There are no remote mountains or whatever in the UK that can be freed of
> bees, even if there might be in the States. But surely other insects move
> pollen about as well as bees?

None do to the same extent, though butterflies are pretty good, and hummingbirds
are also, but these do not deal with corn. Corn's overwhelmingly primary method
of pollination is by wind.

> OK, so you question the motives of "greenies" who may have left-wing
> politics. But for sure the motives of Monsanto and the big agri-businesses
> pushing this GM thru as fast they can *ARE* motivated solely by
> self-interest and financial gain. Aren't some of the GM crops being
> selectively modified to uptake more of a particular brand of pesticide?

If they can uptake it, it would be because the plant metabolizes the pesticide,
rendering it harmless to humans in the fruit.

> If they want to feed the starving millions in Asia, then maybe they could
> donate the $m's they are throwing at GM foods research. Why isn't the same
> level of research going into permaculture?

What is permaculture?

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