Re: Biotechnology & Pesticides

>The sustainable approach advocated by many in this list seems to me a 
>sensible context for discussing the role of biotech. I hate to see us take 
>a Dark Ages type approach and reject all the modern science and potential 
>pesticide reductions possible from biotech because of a few bad uses or 
>failures. Rather, I think we should harness the best of biotech in the 
>service of sustainable agriculture along with pointing out its misuses and 
>curbing unwise uses. In other words, a proactive approach, not just 
>Joel Grossman
>independent writer and former pest control adviser

Biotech is a "tool" that can be used in any agricultural system, even a
sustainable system.  Every tool embodies various qualities (both positive
and negative, relative to the context in which it is being used) that
reflect the nature of the tool itself.  To me, the negative results arising
from the use of biotech have more to do with the tool-user than the tool.
Biotech is the latest "innovation" of a science/corporate/government
structure that has a history of self-interest and a blatant disregard for
the long-term impact of short-term strategies, driven by the need for funds
to support research institutes and/or produce profits.

As an organic farmer, I can see the advantages of biotech in certain
situations, but it would be the last tool in my toolbox that I would use, as
it is so far removed from the natural world where we all must live.  Would I
want someone who can't even grow a tomato organically to give me a product
which is supposed to produce a better and healthier plant?  I don't think so.

Jeff Gold