Genetic engineering is a Good Thing?

Harold Lindaberry harlind at
Wed Sep 16 05:33:39 EST 1998

Ian Staples wrote:

> I was asked by a colleague today whether I had any fairly general
> info on genetic engineering.  He wanted it to give to the son of
> a mutual friend to help the kid do a secondary school project on
> the topic.
> I discovered that my "clippings file" on the topic had pretty
> much all negative info -- "Ban GE foods", "GE spuds may do nasty
> things to you", and that sort of stuff.  Not only was it mostly
> negative, it was also mostly [totally] concerned with agricultural
> production of food and fibre.
> It occurs to me that (a) there must be *some* objective outlines
> of the technology available somewhere; and (b) there are clearly
> objectives of the technology that go beyond Round-Up resistant
> spuds and boll-worm killing cotton.

    While I am sure the primary goal of these companies is to sell more
Round Up and / or seed ths is will only take place if it offers ultimate
improvement in improving profits to the farmer. If the benefits don't
exceed the costs IMO they won't fly in the long run. The farmer
generally has a pretty sharp pencil - if he didn't he wouldn't still be
in business, it is a pretty pencil sharp requiring operation.

> (Manufacture of chemicals
> and medicines etc. spring to mind.)

    I expect that it probably will be restricted to specialty high
priced items or materials that are pretty scarce and hard to come by (
at least at first ). I still don't know if many or any strictly GE
operations that are operating in black ink. I suspect if all of the
money pumped in to GE research over the years was compared with the
profits taken out it has been pretty much a minus operation. IMO - GE
may be a good thing but -  the jury is still out on how it will fly in
the long run. It took a long time for hybridization to take hold and
even then it has only taken place on a relatively few crops that are
easy to manipulate.“ Nature limits what we can do, Science limits what
we understand,Theory what we can think, and Religion what we can hope “
Lindaberry 1998

Harold Lindaberry    reply E - mail    harlind at
visit OXGORE website at


> So, my question:  Does anyone have any recommendations for
> broadening my education in such matters, please?  While pointers
> to paper publications would be of interest in the mid to long
> term, the timeline for the present request from a high school
> student suggests that "on-line" pointers are probably of more
> immediate relevance.  And we're obviously talking stuff for the
> uninitiated, not articles full of gooblygook and jargon. :-)
> Thanks for your help.
> Cheers,  Ian S.
> --
> Ian Staples              MS-Mail: staplesi at

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