Re: SOC: Anti-genetic engineering hysteria growing
Sun, 18 Jul 1999 09:07:22 EDT

In a message dated 99-07-15 16:02:59 EDT, (Robert J. Bradbury) wrote:

> Greg Burch wrote:
> > Based on the extent of the "anti-GM" hysteria I'm seeing increasing signs
> > of in the UK, elsewhere in the EU and to a lesser extent in Australia,
> > I think we may be facing a fundamental showdown on a key element of the
> > transhumanist agenda much sooner than many of us expected.
> Its fundamental economics. A lot of agriculture in Europe gets
> government subsidies (I suppose it does in the U.S. as well).
> The EU governments see the U.S. going to GM crops so they know in order
> to be competitive they have to as well. So they promote GM crops.
> The farmers see that GM crops will be more productive so fewer
> fields will be required to grow them. They see a reduction
> in subsidies and price supports and so they try to put pressure
> on the government to stop GM crops. When that doesn't work they
> respond by resorting to spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt).
> If they happen to get the ear of a sympathetic legislator (who
> isn't in one of the Science ministries promoting the GM trend),
> you then get labeling legislation that then feeds back to the
> public. Since the public knows nothing about science, if "labeling"
> is required, then there must really be something to fear about GM crops.

This is a great analysis of how the "codependency" relationship of subsidized EU farmers can lead them to support the spread of "FUD". I agree with the point you made later in the same post that societies like China and India and ones in Africa won't be as responsive to the argument that GM food crops are "sacrilegious", but the fact is that the two leading industrial powers (EU & US) are headed for a showdown in the middle of Main Street at high noon over this issue. I don't know the legal details, but I can easily envision the EU citing "health and safety" exceptions to GATT to support draconian prohibitions on the import of US GM foodstuffs. Perhaps we DO want this, as we'd basically then be dealing with a "junk science" trial . . . "Inherit the Genes"?

> Now, if someone would just do the Komodo Lizard, so I could
> build my dragon, which was why I got into biotech in the first
> place. Hmmmphhh.

I'd kind of like to have a medium-sized velociraptor, with some dog-loyalty genes thrown in, as a hiking companion . . .

     Greg Burch     <>----<>
     Attorney  :::  Vice President, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-
                         "Civilization is protest against nature; 
                  progress requires us to take control of evolution."
                                      -- Thomas Huxley