Good questions, and I do not subscribe to Paddy's viewpoint but rather think this issue needs re-discussion on the left, along with nuclear power. How much of a danger are these technologies really, how much time and effort are they worth from progressives, and how likely is it that such campaigns would be successful anyway--and if so, what would be the key to their success?

These questions should be discussed based on current information and political contexts and not from the point of view that it would be heretical to raise them, which is basically Robert's attitude and possibly that of some others here (I am not including Mitchel in this, as he has always shown willingness to discuss any issue and I think that is laudable.)


On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 1:57 PM, Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I recommend the book edited by Brian Tokar, "Redesigning Life," as a place to start on this discussion. If you'd like, I'll send a reading list from the anti-GMO end.

But why do we have to re-argue old arguments if people on this list refuse to hear what's been said in the past. To claim that "all plant and animal breeding is, in fact, genetic engineering", albeit with "one hand tied behind the back," misses the fundamental points that make g.e. DIFFERENT than hybridization, and that have been explicated here and elsewhere for years. Need we do that again? To the same people who didn't listen the first ten times?

My point -- Is this an honest discussion, with people who have open minds (hey, I'm willing to hear new arguments about G.E., but not the same old sillyness from those whose ears have walls) -- or is it just a chance to belch out corporate propaganda? And to what purpose would we revisit this theme, other than the new push being made by the biotech industry to gain acceptance for g.e. agro-fuels?


At 04:09 AM 8/26/2008, you wrote:
Those still tied to attacks on genetic engineering and the European ban on GM foods should listen to the discussion begun today on BBC Radio 4 Farming Today.

Today's progtramme is available on the web at <>, which for the next 7 days will give acces to the programme on "Listeb Again",

British agricultural science establishments are currently reduced to operating "with one hand tied behind their back" by the current ban on genetic engineering in Europe.

Non-scientists still refuse to udnerstand that all plant and animal breeding is, in fact, genetic engineering "with one hand tied behind the back".


Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
Boston University

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