Home Page Link AgBioWorld Home Page
About AgBioWorld Donations Ag-Biotech News Declaration Supporting Agricultural Biotechnology Ag-biotech Info Experts on Agricultural Biotechnology Contact Links Subscribe to AgBioView Home Page

AgBioView Archives

A daily collection of news and commentaries on

Subscribe AgBioView Subscribe

Search AgBioWorld Search

AgBioView Archives





March 30, 2000


Images (Multiple Responses)


- http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com

From: Ann Oaks

What hysterical tripe. Look the people out there distrust the
scientists who have lead the advance of chemical agriculture, the
agriculture that brought us DDT to save the world from starvation, who
brought us the green revolution to save the world from starvation, and
now bring us biotech. In the first two of these have brought us items
we have suffered degradation of the environment, increases in
allergies and cancers. Rachel Carson was right. There must be another
way to solve the worlds food problems. How about less grain for cattle
feed and replace it with food for people; how about improved
transportation to get the food to people; how about protecting good
agricultural land from developers, highways and megadams. Have you
read "Who will feed China" by Lester Brown to see the real problems of
the world? Have you read "The doubly green revolution" by Gordon

When I was learning about rBGH I consulted with a number of experts
familiar with cows and milk production. I learned that there was no
problem that we were dealing with a natural product. As I probed
further I discovered that there were no tests on animals that would be
able to detect problems with people so let the market place judge. I
thought the problem was to central to our diet to let the market place
decide. And now with GMOs what do we have? We have the market place
deciding, and the science community, at least that part of it that is
pushing biotech down our throats, shouting "hysteria of the masses;
extreme journalism pushing antiscience down our throats. The people
have a right to be listened to. We are dealing with something new,
which may well be introducing many serious problems both for people's
health and for the environment. I close this message with a quote from
Conway's book , taken from a talk he gave to the board of directors of
Monsanto "Admit that you people do not have all the answers. Commit
yourselves to prompt full and honest sharing of the data. This is not
a time for a new PR offensive, but for a new relationship based on
honesty, full disclosure and an uncertain future"

Ann Oaks

> Images from the biotech war > > By John M. Warner > > > A walking
caricature of a two-headed mutant human...protestors dressed as
freakish half-plant, half-animal

-------- From: Zeami2000@aol.com

In a message dated 3/29/00 6:01:12 AM Central Standard Time,
a_nolan@efn.org writes:

<< What can a plant biologist show the average ample-bottomed,
death-grip-on-his-remote control American consumer, that might
encourage understanding or empathy about the benefits of a genetically
improved strain of rice, or insect-resistant corn? Bt corn looks
exactly like any other variety, and consumers don't (for the most
part) have the motivation, or the attention span to be educated about
the difference. >>

What an insightful and well-written piece. Scientists in biotechnology
are often frustrated at their science being associated with past
scientific blunders, corporate greed, journalistic wont of integrity,
and public suspicion of misunderstood work. This can be turned around
valiantly to see biotechnology as a lightening-rod issue with the
potential to benefit many spheres of modern society such as global
consciousness; historical understanding of agriculture; media
integrity; and the propriety of multi-national corporate activity . It
would require a unified comprehensive understanding that is only
beginning to emerge among bio-tech scientists, via things like
AgBioWorld. There is still a lot of off-putting indignation among
scientists, venting attitudes like "why don't people know this or
that" when they are part of the formula for public ignorance. This
needs to change and requires a re-think about the public role of
scientists, among scientists especially. There needs to be a move from
'neutral science' to promotion of better world, and a case made and a
posture developed. There needs to be a fundamental movement from
reaction to action.

In response to Mr Warner's post, perhaps one effective means would be
having Nobel Laureates featured in an ad campaign with compelling
images. The Nobel prize bears within it a sensibility of scientific
advance coupled with betterment for mankind. I doubt the same public
feelings are evoked from Novartis, Merck, the government or Ventur.
Using images of the starving is a tricky business and those images
have been exploited too often by many groups - without a significant
decline in the number of starving people. How about using images of
"ample-bottomed, death-grip-on-his-remote Americans" to make the
self-reflective point? Recently in NYC, completing a video about
scientists beginning to engage with the public, my editing team, which
was outside the scientific community, stated that everyone seemed to
be an apologist, rather than an advocate. It was an interesting

Joseph Houseal

From: Tom Lauria

You write: "What can a plant biologist show the average
ample-bottomed, death-grip-on-his-remote control American consumer,
that might encourage understanding or empathy about the benefits of a
genetically improved strain of rice, or insect-resistant corn? "

If, in fact, the scientific community actually views the typical
American news consumer in that condescending light, it's no wonder
advocates of genetically engineered improvements are getting their
clock cleaned by activists.

Unless and until rank-and-file Americans are addressed directly,
respectfully and COMPELTELY on how and why GE foods b