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April 3, 2000


Agbioview Postings


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

> <<
> > What hysterical tripe. Look the people out there distrust the
> > scientists who have lead the advance of chemical agriculture, the
> Let us assume for the moment that this line of argument is rational. The
> central notion is that, since scientific advances have led to consequences
> we don't like, we should reject new scientific advances.
> >>
> When will scientists try to understand the public, ( of which they form a
> part ) without such disdain? There is no "hunt for the rational" within
> multiple dynamics that create an energetic society. Yes, indeed there is
> distrust of scientists. Why not learn why there is distrust rather than
> dismissing it as "irrational." I don't see much trust-building here, and a
> lot of condescension. You would like the answer to be, rather regularly,
> "because people are stupid." People must overcome a distrust; it is not
> founded upon imaginary things. Scientific advance requires amending and
> accounting for the damaging errors of the past. This, in my estimation, is
> part of full disclosure. We do have air pollution from our industrial
> success; we did/do have radiation leaks in 4 countries; we do have oil
> spills; thalydimide did happen; DDT proved a problem, BSE happened; there
> usually 2 main meat contamination scares/year. Cancer is rampant. Distrust
> was earned.
> Will bio-tech scientists earn trust again?
> JH

Scientist have done a poor job of public relations. Cancer is rampart
because science has controlled heart trouble, bacterial infections and
provided nutritional information that let people live long enough to
get cancer.

With out science most of the meat contamination problems would be
passed off as stomach flu for the most part. It is the tools of genetic
engineering that let us trace the contamination of food. Science is
not responsible for the vertical integration that has one plant grinding
tons of hamburger meat or tons of sausage and selling all over the
country. The market forces cause this not science.
DDT is only a problem if it is over used. The number of lives saved
by controlling malaria far out do the actual damage done by DDT. If
had been used sensibly it would not have been a problem. But I can
remember cities running a DDT fogger twice a week during the summer
it did a great job on the insects until they over used it and had to use
increasing amounts and finally managed to use so much that it polluted
the environment. Science was the one pointing out the over use of
DDT. Today we have much safer products than DDT.

BSE is not the scientist fault. It was a economic short cut taken to
cheapen animal feed but the feed makers that set it off. If science
insted of politics had had its way they would have started control
measures several years sooner than they did.

There has not been one case of a GM crop causing any problem
with health or the environment. It is much safer and more specific
that any of the breeding methods we have used in the past. Inter
species gene transfer has been going on since the beginning of time
and we are just learning to use natural methods and improve on them
to get the results we want. The idea of a conspiracy to force GM on
farmers is ridiculous. They will never buy seed that doesn't make them
more money than the seeds they already use. Any farmer can raise his
own seed for most crops if he desires. When I was farming I normally
raise a lot more seed than I could use my self and sold it at premium.

Hybrid seed is the exception to this. It would take a very large operation
to raise it's own hybrid seed. I knew several of the men that originated
several verities of cotton and wheat on their own with out the help of
large corporations or universities. If it becomes profitable they can
do it again.

Science is on the side of a healthy world just because they don't
buy into half baked ideas that have proved to be second rate but
have a religious following they aren't the demons. The demons are
the Eco terrorist that instill fear to further their own agenda.

Gordon Couger gcouger@couger.com
Stillwater, OK www.couger.com/gcouger
405 624-2855 GMT -6:00