Agriculture: toxic technophobia

Henry I. Miller at Project Syndicate:

(…) by yielding to the demands of a minuscule number of disingenuous activists, the companies opted to offer less safe products to consumers, thereby exposing themselves to legal jeopardy..

(…) Responding to the bleating of activists, policymakers have subjected the testing and commercialization of genetically engineered crops to unscientific and draconian regulations, with dire consequences. A groundbreaking study of the political economy of agricultural biotechnology concluded that over-regulation causes “delays in the global diffusion of proven technologies, resulting in a lower rate of growth in the global food supply and higher food prices.” Current policies also create “disincentives for investing in further research and development, resulting in a slowdown in innovation of second-generation technologies anticipated to introduce broad consumer and environmental benefits.”

Everyone involved in food production and consumption has suffered: consumers (especially in developing countries) have been subjected to avoidable health risks, and food producers have placed themselves in legal jeopardy for selling products known to have “design defects.”

One thought on “Agriculture: toxic technophobia

  1. That may be correct. However, the unethical and heavy-handed tactics of Monsanto are such that if they are the ones complaining about excessive regulation, I’d be inclined to dismiss their claims.

    Pollen from Monsanto’s GM crops has drifted over to the fields of farmers who don’t want GM crops and who have not purchased patented seeds from Monsanto. Monsanto has sued those farmers for taking advantage of Monsanto’s patented seeds without paying Monsanto even thought the drifting pollen is not welcome. Obviously Monsanto has far more money to spend on lawsuits than the farmers have.

    More information on this may be found by visiting the following (and other) websites and doing a search on “lawsuit”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto

    Regardless of what one’s position is on GM crops, it is clear that Monsanto is throwing its weight around in an unacceptable manner; that leads many of us to question any position that Monsanto, or any company that uses similar tactics, takes.

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