March 1st, 2004
To the Editor,
Sorry to be critical, NY Times, but this editorial comes many years too late. The proliferation of GMO crops and contamination of conventional plants was a planned event in order to render the differences between them as moot. Then the patent protections would place all food production in the hands of the biotech corporations who, coincidentally, produce the required chemicals needed to grow these crops.
These corporations have been receiving mere slaps on the wrist for planting in unapproved areas and for the resultant cross contamination (remember Starlink corn?). The rush to market for these food products took place in the absence of independent scientific assessments of the risks to the environment and the consumers. It is obvious to anyone with a high school science background that genetic drift was inevitable, that the viruses used to transfer DNA between incompatible species of plants/animals would survive digestion to show up in animals/humans and that the new proteins created must have some impact upon the human immune system. Yet the lack of mandatory labelling has never allowed any tracing of health effects in the population to be studied.
This has turned the scientific method into science fiction for our culture. Americans worship technology for its profits and presumed benefits. However we despise the science which dares to evaluate technology’s full impact and modify its uses in precautionary measures.
Categories: NY Times