Biotech, Gene engr. and world food crop risk, fact/fiction?

BEBATES at DELPHI.COM bebates at news.delphi.com
Fri Aug 12 01:35:06 EST 1994


I have just finished reading Seeds of Change by Kenny Ausubel and am very 
concerned about his thories on the risk to the primary world food crops 
by genetic engineering of seeds.  The focus seems to be not just the 
issue of a few pharmaceutical  companies controlling the food sources, 
but the possibility of weaknesses being bred into germplasm through 
generations and with limited diversity having a blight rip through in a 
major way that would make the potato famine look like a skipped lunch.

Another issue is the possibility of plants escaping into the wild and 
dominating other plants like many non-native nuissances jeapordizing 
biosystems around the world today.  Those bred to be tollerant of 
Monsantos' (or other companies) herbicides would become super plants.

Another concern is the possibility of plants develping weaknesses that 
jeapordize other plants.  I believe the tobaco undustry is trying to 
control home farmers in the north west growing potatoes that carry a 
virus innoccuous to potatoes but deadly to tobbaco...

Frankly it scares the S out of me...

Where can i get some facts?

My research paper will focus on the  legal issues of EPA biodiversity 
regulations, UNEP standards towards sustainability and our responsibility 
to future generations to leave them at least as well off as we are today.

Judge E. Brown Weiss reminds us: "As members of the present generation, 
we hold the earth in trust for future generations...there are two 
relationships that must shape any theory of intergenerational equity in 
the context of our natural environment:  our relationship to other 
generations of our own species and our relationship to the natural system 
of which we are a part."

Appreciate any input, direction for more info, etc.  Will be glad to pass 
on my paper to anyone interested...



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