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Discussion in 'Plants: In the News' started by Junglekeeper, Mar 18, 2012.
Sweet science: B.C. researchers building a better paw paw plant
This is a good example of how lumping all GM foods as evil can stifle legitimate progress. There is no way that making a fruit seedless and longer lived through genetic modification can impact biodiversity or health any more than doing the same thing through traditional breeding. Instead of taking the quick and efficient way to develop a better fruit, this company will waste years and taxpayers' dollars catering to the irrational fears of anti-GM Luddites.
Science and Technology in themselves aren't bad things. It is only in how innovations and new methods are applied that problems arise. For instance, I have always felt that the phrase "Better Living Through Chemistry'" was not something to be proud of, but without some of new things (new being since the 1950's) our lives would be much different. Whether we would be better off or not is another question. I think that both the scientist and the consumer need to make the best choices for themselve with the knowledge that is available. But without the advancements in biochemistry and medicine I think our lives would have been greatly diminished.
Further, GM plants in themselves are not the problem, but how the plants are engineered and their effect on the environment can be very problematic. In some cases the harm that had been done has been exacerbated by how the GM plants were utilized. In other cases it is the designers that expected something like a majic bullet of a plant that would be insect and weed resistant. And when all was said and done they achieved that to some degree but at great cost to the environment. With some restraint some of the really bad results might have been avoided. Using genes by copying that part of the genome that makes the plant stronger and applying it to plants that were decimated by the Japanese Tsunami appears to me to be a wonderful use of the science of genetics. So I think that such results that are contemplated here are good applications of the science with the caveat that the results are as expected. That is that changes in the plant are not a source of harm. and I could not for the life of me think of how those types of changes could be harmful in any way.