RE: Meritocracies and freedom of information

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Sat Oct 13 2001 - 09:34:13 MDT

Robert J. Bradbury wrote,
> No significant
> ill effects have been demonstrated for GM crops.

Be careful when making sweeping statements like this.

In my home state of Florida, it has been demonstrated that round-up
resistant cotton will cross-breed with a weed that is a relative of cotton
producing a super weed that is resistant to round-up. This has been
scientifically proven in the lab, and it is expected to just be a matter of
time before this occurs in the wild. To delay this event, it is now illegal
to use or even transport round-up resistant GM cotton south of Route 60 in
Florida, where the weed is known to grow. This law is expected to delay,
but not prevent, the emergence of this super-weed.

Don't get me wrong, I studied biochemistry and genetic engineering at
Florida Tech. I am not against GM crops. But like all technology, it has
limits and risks. We must clearly understand and articulate the risks.
Luddites and anti-GM forces will pounce on anyone claiming that there are no
ill effects relating to these crops. This belief is unscientific and wrong.
Like all technologies, GM crops have risks and side-effects. We need to
weigh the benefits versus the risks, and learn to increase the former while
mitigating the latter.

Harvey Newstrom <>
Principal Security Consultant, Newstaff Inc. <>
Board of Directors, Extropy Institute <>
Cofounder, Pro-Act <>

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