Skip to comments.Biotech's Sparse Harvest
Posted on 02/13/2006 11:28:12 PM PST by nickcarraway
At the dawn of the era of genetically engineered crops, scientists were envisioning all sorts of healthier and tastier foods, including cancer-fighting tomatoes, rot-resistant fruits, potatoes that would produce healthier French fries and even beans that would not cause flatulence.
But so far, most of the genetically modified crops have provided benefits mainly to farmers, by making it easier for them to control weeds and insects.
Now, millions of dollars later, the next generation of biotech crops the first with direct benefits for consumers is finally on the horizon. But the list does not include many of the products once envisioned.
Developing such crops has proved to be far from easy. Resistance to genetically modified foods, technical difficulties, legal and business obstacles and the ability to develop improved foods without genetic engineering have winnowed the pipeline.
"A lot of companies went into shell shock, I would say, in the past three, four years," said C. S. Prakash, director of plant biotechnology research at Tuskegee University. "Because of so much opposition, they've had to put a lot of projects on the shelf."
Developing nonallergenic products and other healthful crops has also proved to be difficult technically. "Changing the food composition is going to be far trickier than just introducing one gene to provide insect resistance," said Mr. Prakash, who has promoted agricultural biotechnology on behalf of the industry and the United States government.
In 2002, Eliot Herman and his colleagues got some attention when they engineered a soybean to make it less likely to cause an allergic reaction. But the soybean project was put aside because baby food companies, which he thought would want the soybeans for infant formula, instead are avoiding biotech crops, said Mr. Herman, a scientist with the Department of Agriculture.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
These idiots at the slimes are clueless. Getting rid of the wevil or making corn more resistant various insects is a direct benefit to the consumer. By increasing yield per acre it drives down the cost to the consumer. Where do those morons think white and yellow corn that is sweet no matter what time of year you get it came from. The fact is that biotech crops have been a resounding success. Yes there has been some opposition from idiotic EU types, but the fact remains that biotech has made crops more resistant drought, other inclement weather, pests and various blights, thus driving down the price of food and increasing yields and profits to the farmers.
What planet do these people live on?
Fair to guess that such a product may also cause long-term immunity problems, on the principle that one needs environmental pathogen exposure to develop an antibody repertoire and express normal response to diseases. Asthma, for one, is thought to be linked to freakishly clean lifestyles.
Not really applicable to this.
That's a genetically modified baby corn.
The New York Times is terrible on any kind of prognostication about technology or science. In fact they are legendary for it.
"A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth's atmosphere."
-- New York Times, 1936
"Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."
-- New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work, 1921
The long term damage does not matter so long as there is a short term profit. This is how the free market works and have nor right to object.
Genetic removal of surface (or other) proteins known to trigger allergic reactions is not necessarily good. I have described just one potential concern, unless you believe that biotech crops killing people through compromised immunity isn't applicable to the safety or general success of the industry.
As I understand allergies, they are triggered because somebody is hypersensitive to X. X being something which does not normally produce a reaction. If they can create a crop which lowers or removes whatever causes people to be hypersensitive, then I don't see how this will compromise/weaken the immune systems of the general populace.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.