It’s the Monsanto “terminator seeds” that make me want to go and stab them with a pitchfork, Thaum. For millenia farmers have been retaining a portion of their crop as seed for the next crop. But if it’s Monsanto “terminator” seed, it won’t germinate, so you would have to buy fresh stocks from them every year. Fortunately there is a moritorium on their commercialisation at the moment, but I have no idea how long that will last, especially if there is a major food supply crises in the developing world…
Monsanto – one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse…
The idea that farmers are being prevented from exercising their traditional right to save seeds is false: farmers choose to buy seeds often from certified seed-savers because they get better results. Farm-saved seed may not be pure, it may not have the improved qualities that the breeder has created. Seed-saving is a specialized job to be done to a high standard; most farmers in developed nations do not save their own seed any more than they would make their own tractors. Seed-saving is fine for the home gardener- I save some vegetable seeds myself- but in developing countries, moving away from farm-saved seed for commercial crops is more likely to be an indicator of moving away from poverty.
And there’s lot’s more for the innocent MrsBootstraps on SkeptEco’s site, such as:
In my experience, anti-GE activists in the west, many of them inexperienced in farming, believe that there is something perhaps purer or more “natural” if developing farmers remain on a subsistence level; they see an increase in their income as being a bad thing, taking them away from their close connection with the land and doing things locally for themselves. They do not seem to realize that if a farmer cannot enter the cash economy, they will not be able to have the money to send their children to school, or buy labour-saving devices like washing machines that we take for granted. I wonder how much of Vandana Shiva’s false claims against GE is underpinned by a paternalistic philosophy that we should Keep the Poor Poor.
Of course it’s quite possible that SkeptEco is wrong but if he is, it’s up to MrsBootstraps and her UT acolytes to demonstrate that with rather more evidence than they’ve produced so far.
The Deadly Opposition to Genetically Modified Food
Vitamin A deficiency has killed 8 million children in the last 12 years. Help is finally on the way.
Two recent studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that just 50 grams (roughly two ounces) of golden rice can provide 60 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. They show that golden rice is even better than spinach in providing vitamin A to children.
Vitamin A supplementation programs costs $4,300 for every life they save in India, whereas fortification programs cost about $2,700 for each life saved. Both are great deals. But golden rice would cost just $100 for every life saved from vitamin A deficiency.
Greenpeace and many others claim that GM foods merely enable big companies like Monsanto to wield near-monopoly power. But that puts the cart before the horse: The predominance of big companies partly reflects anti-GM activism, which has made the approval process so long and costly that only rich companies catering to First World farmers can afford to see it through.
On the concentration of power in the hands of a shockingly small number of people:
“which also means it won’t take that long to identify or hang the fuckers.”
BeautifulBurnout – Barrister at Law and armchair anarchist, on the release of Meadows and King from the dock by Judge Douglas Marks Moore:
“Absolutely, Deano. I bet the old bugger is irritated that he can’t order yet another retrial until they give a guilty verdict!!”
Here’s Anne Tanner (AT42) the lone Marxist survivor of Old Labour, venturing into “Left-Wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder” territory:
…after the revolution we need to shut down the Bullingdon club – its the stinking canker at the heart of British society. It symbolises precisely what is wrong with the public school system.
Ropes and lamposts? Too good for them!
Wasn’t it Anne Tanner who among others of the Untrusted, protested about the execution of the genocidal Stalinist Nicolae Ceausescu?