Altered food - why?

Christopher Hatton (spam free veggie option) Hatton at ifn-magdeburg.de.de
Thu Apr 24 07:02:53 EST 1997



weck at rcs.urz.tu-dresden.de schrieb im Beitrag
<5jlmru$s90$1 at rks1.urz.tu-dresden.de>...
> Why do we discuss the need of genetically altered food?
> Is there anybody who thinks that we realy need it?
> 
> I'm not talkin' to those people who transport tomatoes - who produce corn
in 
> high quantities - a.s.o. they will answer - YES!
> But the others who want tasty food - well on a simple hamburger it does
not 
> matter where MR BURGER got his tomatoes from - but in italian kitchen it
is more 
> difficult to get the wright thing - ever tried ?
> 
> In thousands of years of co-evolution wo+man and food developed
> to the very best co-existing system! 
> For those who didn't know :
> WE DO HAVE PLANT AND ANIMALS ON EARTH - YOU CAN EAT IT! WHOW!
> But millions of people suffer from hunger - millions of children die of
hunger.
> They are NOT working on GEN-TECHNOLOGY and they do not die because they
didn't 
> get their genetically manipulated WONDER-meal!
> 
> There is NO HOPE for these people in genetically altered food.
> Genetically altered food has been DESIGNED to use existing herbicids and 
> insecticids (and other killing additives) in industrial agriculture more
freely!
> 
> So we have nice plants resistant against herbicids so that the farmer can
spray 
> much more poisson on his corn field than he did before (Don't worry your 
> genetically wonder corn will resist all the poisson - those eatin' the
crob 
> too?). 
> The harvest will be enormous and the meat production will be much cheaper

> because corn will be cheaper too. 
> 
> What is all this stuff for? Why does nobody want to enable the
underdeveloped 
> countries to produce food for men and beast on their own?
> It is only the mighty 'white' man (wearing white clothes in the lab)
being so 
> clever - having all this technology to produce the GOOD things.
> 
> IMHO there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to produce genetically altered food!
> The problems of humanity in this fading century will not be solved by
this 
> method but many unknown dangers MAY (I said MAY!) occur and billards of
$$ will 
> be wasted on sophisticated techniques nobody realy needs. 
> Even if genetics tell us the opposite why are they so sure? 
> - They are all looking for grants and they believe in technology - just
like 
> those people who build the atomic bombs (but they even believed in god -
crazy).
> 
> So here I wait for the one telling me how wrong I am!
>

I won't tell you your wrong either, because I worked in the plant biotech
industry breifly (1 month infact) but it was enough. 

However being a man in a white coat some of the time, your somewhat
"Luddite" attitude is somewhat offputting many people in Science do care
its why we work in Science.... However there is one thing that would be
useful, those temperature sensitive crops such as Sugar beet, lettuce and
tomatoes are easily damaged by a hard frost, the wine harvest also if they
was a way we could get these to resist severve frosts then a lot of food
would be saved.  Water sparing/drought resistance would also be useful
however this could probably only be done via genetically changing the
plants.

Anyway we could upregulate heat shock proteins etc during development would
be good without genetic modification. The antibiotic resistance I believe
is a real danger, we know that bacteria are very effective carriers of
various natuarl antibtoic resistance plasmids.  
Ironically ofcourse many of the antibiotic resisantce genes (except
Streptomycin) used in Mol.Biol would actually provide us a defence
mechanism against some compounds are actually slighty toxic to humans.

Christopher Hatton
Magdeburg
Germany



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