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>>I get no sense from your intervention around
>>this question that you are engaged with the Marxist critique of
>>capitalist agriculture, which differs substantially from various types
>>of neo-Luddism, including green spirituality, etc.
>
>I'm purposely not involved in agricultural issues directly.

The compartmentalization of research into discrete and separate areas
of specialization is part of the problem. A radical analysis and
critique of GM technology needs to integrate everything from
biochemistry to political economy. No easy task, but at least we can
begin by asking some basic questions about what the purpose of the
research is and why it is being undertaken in the first place. That
means agricultural issues can't be avoided.

>>All technological "advances" in farming take us further and further away
>>from the necessary solution, which is the resolution of what Karl Marx
>>called the metabolic rift. This has been the subject of numerous
>>articles published by John Bellamy Foster.
>
>Interesting perspective.  All farming tech is making up for soil
>fertility depletion. Hmmm.

Soil depletion was the main problem in the nineteenth century. Today
we can add a host of other environmental problems which capitalist
agriculture has produced. The point is that you have to look at the
big picture as well as the small picture. If you focus on the
small-scale, it is always one more technical problem to be fixed,
which then gives rise to a new set of technical problems. If you
focus on the big picture then you will be instinctively suspicious of
the technical "solutions", not because technology in itself is to be
feared, but because it is technology controlled by capitalists,
driven by capitalist goals and priorities, in which short-term profit
generally trumps all other considerations. That, in a nutshell, is
why I take the critics of GM technology seriously. To dismiss them as
"technophobes" is unhelpful, to say the least.

--PG