Re: GE in OZ -Reply


> Is the point, then, that this is inevitable?   It seems you are saying that this
> will happen sooner or later -- a bit sooner is the GE crops are
> widely-used -- a bit later if acreage is just sprayed with Bt or Roundup.
> Does avoiding use of these biocides -- particularly the GE ones -- do
> much more than buy us a little time?  Time to do what?   We will always
> need tools to battle against the things that want to take our crops from us
> and/or take the space that our crops occupy.   The challenge is to look
> into the crystal ball and see which will be benign (or least malignant).  
> I think most on the list will recognise this is a pretty big challenge.

The issue is the "extent" of use - the acreage sown.  When BT is used 
strategically, and Roundup is used as one of many approaches to weed 
control, then the chance of resistance developing is very much 
reduced compared to when literally millions of acres are sown to GE 
crops for BT or for resistance to Roundup.  The difference in 
timeline is very great.  So, yes, we are buying time but not just a 
little time.  The BT story is a bit easier to make, because those 
using BT are in transition to more holistic approaches to insect 
control, perhaps involving little or no biocides at all.  The Roundup 
story is less compelling, although I do know farmers in transition to 
organic production systems who are weaning themselves off of 
herbicides via strategic use of Roundup, where needed.

Buying time for what?  To convince people that it is possible to farm 
without dependence on any of these products.  This is not a 
short-term task, but it is certainly do-able.  What will convince 
people, I believe, is not the holism or ecological soundness of 
alternative approaches, but rather, their cost-effectiveness.  Ann

Dr. E. Ann Clark
Associate Professor
Crop Science
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON  N1G 2W1
Phone:  519-824-4120 Ext. 2508
FAX:  519 763-8933