Debate

AZPIROZ at CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU AZPIROZ at CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU
Wed Mar 2 11:50:47 EST 1994


Well, here's my humble personal opinion. I think there's nothing inherently
wrong with recombinant livestock. However, nobody needs supercows except
the folks who invented them. There's a glut of milk in this country, and the
federally guaranteed minimum price for milk is subsidized by taxpayers. Now
we're striving to make it worse. Nobody believes for a minute that this is
going to help starving children. The same is true for ALL biotech applied to
agriculture. The direction of new applications is entirely driven by the market,
and within the lifetime of most of us, recombinant crops and livestock will
become a "necessity", just like ballpoint pens and disposable soda bottles.
Manufacturers will, as always, redefine what is "normal" and what is a luxury.
It's inevitable, unfortunately.

As for the lack of public understanding of science, where we should look first
for responsibility is at the scientific community. Scientists have fought hard to
perpetuate the myth that science is too difficult for common mortals to dabble
with. This is the only way scientists can set themselves apart from the masses, which we somehow feel we're supposed to do. So, yes, often public fears about
technological advances are unfounded and derived from ignorance, but if scientists don't educate the public, nobody will. Certainly not the media, which
thrives on reporting or creating controversy.

Humbly and individually, 

Ricardo Azpiroz
Plant Sciences
U. Arizona



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