Ridley wrong on GMOs

There is a good essay here refuting one of the more vociferous and public advocates of GMOs, Viscount Matt Ridley, the self-styled ‘rational optimist’ whose wealth rests on ruinous open cast coal mining and who also helped to bring about the Northern Rock financial fisaco.

http://www.theecologist.org/essays/2987749/matt_ridleys_progmo_blunders_and_ignorance.html

 

So far so good-Matt Ridley

 

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GMOs versus organic agriculture

Supporters of organic farming and other such alternatives are often mocked as being ‘anti-science’ and believers in ‘muck and magic’. Conversely, advocates of genetic engineering and sister technologies flatter themselves as ‘open-minded’,’ ‘evidence-based’ and followers of dispassionae logic, This usefl article challenges such stereotypes:

by Elizabeth Henderson At one of the public brainstorming sessions for the New York Organic Action Plan, an organic farmer made an impassioned plea for
INDEPENDENTSCIENCENEWS.ORG

Precautionary Principle & GM crops

There is a very useful piece here by Rupert Read on the application of the precautionary principle to the debate over genetically engineered crops.

http://www.theecologist.org/…/the_precautionary_principle_t…

See also:
http://www.precaution.org/lib/06/new_perspectives.060623.htm

There is an additional point lurking here. Some people assert that Green Politics is positioned on the left of the conventional left-right political spectrum (contrary to the original “nether left nor right” slogan).

The pioneer of the precautionary principle, a key plank in the Green programme for sustainability, was ‘Tory’ thinker Edmund Burke. That does not mean we endorse everything Burke did or said. It is simply a matter of picking what is of value (from wherever we find it) and integrating it within a coherent package of ideas that, together, serve the common good (eg https://www.academia.edu/…/Edmund_Burke_and_Green_Political…).

Many Green ideas such as human scale, steady-state economics and the intrinsic value of non-human species cannot be located on either the Left, Centre or the Right of the political ideologies that have dominated discourse over the past, say, two hundred years.

GMOs have been in our diets for about 20 years, writes Rupert Read. Proof that they are safe? No way – it took much, much longer to discover the dangers of cigarettes…
THEECOLOGIST.ORG

Food & diet – cloning cows in China

One of the oldie but goldie eco novels is Pohl and Kornbluth’s ‘The Space Merchants’ from the early 1950s (http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/spacemerchants.htm). It’s science fiction but technologists today are working hard to make reality catch up with the novelists’ imaginations. The Chinse project is a foretatse of how we will end up treating animals to keep up with soaring demand for meat (see also: http://ecowatch.com/2016/03/04/world-meat-addiction/http://inhabitat.com/infographic-the-true-environmental-co…/;
and, on ‘cheap’ chickens, http://www.theguardian.com/…/cheap-chicken-we-all-pay-in-th…).

Boyalife, the first stem cell bank in China, is underway in cloning cows to meet the country’s skyrocketing demand for beef. Drug sniffing dogs, racehorses
ECOWATCH.COM

Genetic engineering & Genome editing

This is an important article not just on the hubris of biotechnology but also the general precautionary principle, so central to all sorts of policy options:

by Jonathan Latham, PhD For the benefit of those parts of the world where public acceptance of biotechnology…
INDEPENDENTSCIENCENEWS.ORG