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The New Libertarian
Posted by: Dale Franks on Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Nima Sanandaji and Tomas Brandberg, from the Swedish think-tank, Captus, take a look at genetically-modified foods at The New Libertarian.

Although genetically modified plants have been successfully marketed in the United States, consumers in the European Union have shown little enthusiasm.

A plausible explanation is that genetically modified foods challenge traditional European ideas about food. People have powerful cultural attachments to food and are sceptical towards products from genetically modified organisms (GMO), even though science and experience tells us that these products are safe. The cultural barriers against GM foods are something that one might expect would decline with time. Since European consumers still remain sceptical towards GM foods one must look at another factor - the constant attacks from environmental anti-GMO organizations
The Authors then take a closer look at the criticisms of GM foods.

As a reminder, we are constantly seeking feature-length submissions (1,200+ words) for TNL. Please send submissions to
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Luddites, pure and simple. Yes, I know there are legitimate fears. Well, guess what? Fires sometimes burn down whole cities, does that mean we give up fire?
Written By: kyle N
Uhm, you know, we’ve been doing genetic modifications on our food crops for, oh like you know a couple hundred thousand years. Somebody thinks sheep, goat, cow or chicken genes are unmodified from deer, bison and pheasant? And then there’s maize... And some of the West Coast Eco-puritans ought to research the Pacific-Amerind cultivation of acorns, sometime. "Natural" ecosystems and "noble aboriginies" in "harmony and balance with the existing species" my fat ass!

Gene tinkering got a little faster when nuts like Luther Burbank started up — did you know Burbank rejected Darwinism and thought Lamarck was on the right track? — but just because a researcher used to go barging genes around in macroscopic quantities (eyeballing the pollen on a paintbrush between rows of plants in separate greenhouses, say) instead of one nanoscopic spliced bit at a time, it hardly makes the bastard offspring "natural". Borlaug saved the whole freakin’ world from predicted mass starvation in the 1980’s using gene-mod crops and hi-tech fertilizers and pesticides — and who even remembers?

So nowadays Burbankians and Borlaugians do it faster cheaper and better — rescued old varieties of applies from extinction and inventing new apples that taste like grapes and apples with more vitamins who knows what all — and it’s not enough that, like Borlaug, they’re forgotten but they get villfied and run out of whole nations — whole continents. Bet a nickle India is not unhappy with Borlaugian foods, and if Africa starves in the next decade it will be because they refuse current crop technology. Y’know there’s an African traditional grain called "taff" that researchers in Kansas have figgered out how to triple production on? It’s like "quadrotriticale" on steroids — without natural enemies like tribbles. But will some UN-sponsored agency allow the hicks from Smallville to come in and play hero outside their own backyard? Not likely.
Written By: POUNCER
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