Monday, June 23, 2003

As if we all couldn't see this one coming:
The dispute over genetically modified crops will intensify today with news of the evolution of "superweeds", which are resistant to the powerful weedkillers that GM crops were engineered to tolerate. . . . It means that bigger quantities of weedkillers - not less, as the biotechnology companies have claimed - will be needed in GM-crop fields, adding to the already intensive agriculture that has wiped out much of Britain's farmland wildlife in the past four decades.
Perhaps stories like this will begin to expose the true logic of industrial agriculture, which has nothing to do with long-term concerns such as eradicating hunger or battling poverty and everything to do with short-term profits. Good Lord, even a concern for long-term profits would be downright refreshing from the biotech lobby. Anybody with a high-school lesson in biology could have foreseen the short-term success of pouring huge amounts of Roundup on Roundup-resistant crops followed inevitably by its longer-term failure as good old fashioned natural evolution worked its magic. Superweeds have appeared in Australia, Chile, Malaysia and California among other places. Just think if they turned up in Africa -- what a human and natural disaster that would be! But don't expect Monsanto to be worrying about these minor details.

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