Genetic Monofication

argylesock says… Here are manuelinor’s intelligent words about genetic modification (GM, aka genetic engineering, GE), It doesn’t lend itself to soundbites but here’s one: GM is complicated. I’m still trying to keep an open mind.

Ecology is not a dirty word

Genetic modification (GM) has been on the radar for quite a few years – another really important issue that has been misrepresented and misinterpreted for too long to maintain any sort of clarity in the general public’s consciousness. The problems with GM (of crops or animals) are numerous and fall into three main categories, ethical, ecological and social…although it’s pretty hard to separate the three when discussing any given GM scenario.

Superweeds, superbugs (of both the insect and viral variety), reduced crop diversity, genetic pollution of non-GM organisms outside the GM field, increased suicides and legal intimidation in farming communities around the world, the infamous ‘revolving door’ between Big Biotech and US government agencies, claims that US embassies strategically planned to ‘penalise’ countries that opposed GM….take your pick and try and pinpoint one single dilemma therein, that is not somehow linked to another.

Yet all too often, the arguments for…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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4 Responses to Genetic Monofication

  1. EqFe says:

    In the US, GMO has come to mean Roundup Ready, which makes me worry a lot more about the ecological effects of that chemical than genetic modification itself.

    • argylesock says:

      Me too. I wish people (esp journalists) would stop banging on about the lack of evidence that Roundup Ready crops cause any risk to consumers. Because as you say, attention should be on the ecological effects of the agrochemical. Also the social and economic effects of GM.

      I’m intrigued that you perceive ‘GM crops’ as meaning ‘Roundup Ready crops’ without public awareness of Bt crops.

  2. EqFe says:

    When BT crops were first introduced, there was fear that they would wipe out butterflies. When that didn’t happen public awareness and interest diminished. As an organic gardener, I am concerned that Cabbage worms will eventually develop resistance to BT. Because of labor shortages in agricultural areas, Roundup ready GMOs are grown on an increasingly large percentage of our agricultural land.

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