Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Frankenfood Myth

Some book review excerpts:

In this provocative and meticulously researched book, Henry Miller and Gregory Conko trace the origins of gene-splicing, its applications, and the backlash from consumer groups and government agencies against so-called “Frankenfoods”—from America to Zimbabwe. They explain how a “happy conspiracy” of anti-technology activism, bureaucratic overreach, and industry maneuvering has resulted in a regulatory framework that squanders advances in biotechnology and denies farmers and consumers in the U.S. and abroad the benefits of this safe and environmentally beneficial tool.
The authors go on to suggest a way to emerge from this morass, which stems in no small part from a cynical lobbying strategy by the very biotechnology companies that now find themselves so heavily regulated and frequently attacked. They propose a variety of business and policy reforms that can unlock the potential of this cutting-edge science, while ensuring appropriate safeguards and moving environmentally friendly products into the hands of farmers and consumers.

“Misguided public policies have seriously restricted research on, and applications of, genetic engineering in agriculture. Miller and Conko analyze why and how this has occurred. They point out the danger that the present unwarranted regulatory oppression will become the norm, and they make a strong case for drastic change in present policies. Their call for policies based on realistic risk-benefit considerations needs to be heard loudly by those responsible for the present fiasco.”

“People are starving because frightened, ignorant, self-centered people coined the word ‘Frankenfood.’ Genetically engineered crops could save millions of lives, if regulators and misguided activists would just get out of the way. Scientists have done their part; they created the technology to feed a lot of starving people. Miller and Conko are doing their part; they’ve written a book that will change the debate over biotechnology and how it’s regulated. Miller and Conko describe biotech’s potential to both alleviate human suffering and improve environmental stewardship, and they offer science-based models for regulation. It’s time for the rest of us to do our part – read the book, fight the power, and feed the people. The hard work is done; all we have left to do is get policy-makers to do the right thing.”

“Henry Miller and Gregory Conko have accurately and lucidly portrayed the current distortion in policymaking toward the new biotechnology. They describe how demagoguery by well-funded, well-organized opponents has capitalized on fears and uncertainties toward gene-spliced crops; how these attacks stifle thoughtful, deliberative policy-making; and how they are slowing the progress of a powerful new tool. Miller and Conko brilliantly expose the peril of allowing the precautionary principle to drive risk analysis and policymaking. Their thorough and articulate deconstruction of the precautionary principle should serve as a guide to developing regulatory policy, not only for biotechnology, but for any new idea or technology.”


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

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