genetically engineered crops

John Grant jgrant at SRV0.BIO.ED.AC.UK
Fri Sep 18 05:17:44 EST 1998

At the risk of massive vilification from the newsgroup I would like to
reinforce the 'alternative' view of Wayne Parrott.

World population is predicted to double in the next 50 years with
almost all this growth in less developed countries.  Genetically
engineering crops is essentially the next step in the ongoing
agricultural revolution of the last few decades.  They will provide
provide greater yield per hectare, contain more essential nutrients
and reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizers.  Admittedly not 
all the first genetically engineered plants have not been shining 
examples of this and biotech companies have acted arrogantly in 
forcing their products on the market which is partly responsible for 
the current negative attitude of the public.

However to advocate a completely anti-genetically engineered crops
approach is effectively signing-up for insufficient world food
resources, greater use of pesticides/fertilizers and increased
destruction of rainforests as new growing areas are sought.

I agree not all plant biotechnology is good and done for altruistic 
purposes but it is worth being open-minded about the subject.

> They aren't interested
> in innovation, they're interested in who pays their salary.

Probably not strictly true as salaries are so meagre!

John Grant
University of Edinburgh

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