Commentary: We’re getting warmer
Incidentally? “No negative health effects associated with their use?” Don’t be ridiculous. The use of even relatively benign pesticides, like Round-up, is the single biggest consequence of biotechnology applications to date and has very distinct and very unpleasant ecological and health effects.
- “GM technology adds desirable traits from nature, without introducing anything unnatural or using chemicals, so that food is more plentiful.”
Okay, that statement is like a guy who fires off a dozen rounds at a shooting range, hits the bull’s-eye with one of them and then starts pretending he’s a sharpshooter.
Yes, genetic engineering does “add traits from Nature” — technically. But c’mon. That’s the easiest argument to squash. All that activists have to do is point out that biotech projects have used fish genes in tomatoes, or other examples, and that talking point vaporizes.
Second, is “desirable” really an accurate description of how biotechnology has been deployed? Not to consumers. Hate to be a downer, but when “desirable traits” involve production efficiencies, or stronger sales of agricultural inputs, most people don’t consider that to be anything desirable for them.
Finally, don’t even mention the word chemicals. What is wrong with the Coalition’s copywriters? The “overuse” of chemical pesticides is the single most powerful argument the anti-GMO forces have mobilized to date. It’s the one talking point that even consumers who wouldn’t know recombinant DNA from recreational drug use understand: “chemicals” are bad. That’s what most people believe. Don’t even try to reverse those beliefs, and for sure, don’t trigger those misguided sentiments by actually using the c-word.
- GM technology helps reduce the price of crops used for food, such as corn, soybeans and sugar beets, by as much as 15 percent to 30 percent.”
Really? Says who? I mean, when was the last time food prices went down by double digits? Other than those mark-downs of ground beef with tomorrow’s expiration date on the package, that is.
Selling consumers on the notion that genetic engineering lowers food prices would be a fantastic talking point — if it were true. But it’s not. Any marginal efficiency realized from utilizing GE crops goes to straight to the agribusiness companies involved in the food distribution/processing/marketing infrastructure, not to consumers.
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