Genetic engineering is a Good Thing?

Marty Sachs msachs at uiuc.edu
Sat Sep 19 09:23:02 EST 1998


In article <6tv6k8$8lh at priv-sys04-le0.telusplanet.net>, Jim Wright
<jwright at agt.net> wrote:

> toby at u.washington.edu ('Toby' H D Bradshaw) wrote:

> >I still contend that today's U.S. farmers are accepting transgenics more
> >quickly than their grandparents accepted hybrid maize.  Note that in both
> >eras farmers were pretty quick studies in the economics of commodity
> >production.
> 
> The situation with RR canola is similar, except that seed supplies are 
> no longer limiting, only two years later, because canola multiplies very 
> quickly.  I'm no expert, but the major limiting factor on the increase
> in RR canola production is the high cost of the seed, the high cost of 
> Monsanto's technology fee, and the intrusive agreement that has to be 
> signed to aquire the technology.  Some people haven't been satisfied with 
> the agronomic characteristics of the earliest varieties. If seeding costs
> were the same as non RR varieties, RR canola would quickly have most of
> the market, IMHO. (Unlike hybrid maize, the higher seed costs for RR 
> canola reflect primarily development cost recovery and profit taking, as 
> near as I can see). 
> 
> Jim


Perhaps one reason why U.S. farmers are accepting transgenics more quickly
than their grandparents accepted hybrid maize, is that hybrid corn was far
more of a revolution than transgenics are???  Pre-hybrid corn, farmers
using landraces could save seed from the years crop to plant the next year
and obtain roughly the same yield and performance (differences occurred
only due to environmental factors).  With hybrid corn, the farmer became
dependent upon the seed companies to provide seed each year.  Also,
perhaps to today's farmer, transgenics are little different that the
slight improvements and value added traits that were provided by improved
corn lines for generations?

      -Marty Sachs



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