Thursday, January 24, 2008

Edible Plastic coming soon?

The title is a little over the top, but after the animal cloning post from a few days ago and about the soon to be prevalence of GM sugar beets and "supercarrot"s. One really does wonder who dreams up this stuff and what problem they are really trying to solve. Working in technology, knowing the end goal is critical to a successful project. If the end goal for agriculture research is to improve health, crop yields or otherwise reduce production costs through reduced chemical use, etc, I'm all for it. But do we really need a carrot that has a miniscule additional amount of calcium over normal carrots? Do we need square tomatoes and potatoes that exude pesticides in every cell (and are registered with the FDA in that class).

Anyways, for rank stupidity, at least from the consumers point of view, you can read about supercarrots (I'd like to come up with a clever adaptation of that name, like stuporcarrots). And for analysis of how modified sugar beets are probably going to be adopted soon as well as an analysis of how previous deployments of modified foods have "increased herbicide use in the U.S. by 122 million pounds -- a
15-fold increase -- between 1994 (when GE herbicide-tolerant crops were
introduced) to 2004." Keep in mind that the biggest engineered feature of current GM crops is resistance to herbicides.