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Discussion in 'Plants: In the News' started by Junglekeeper, Jul 17, 2019.
Should we resurrect the American chestnut tree with genetic engineering?
Why from wheat? Why don't they use the gene from one of the Asian chestnuts?
This has the potential to backfire spectacularly - just suppose the blight evolves to overcome the wheat gene, and finds itself able to devastate wheat crops??
This article contains more information, I think:
Yes, that is an excellent article - thoughtful, well-researched and very well written.
I think that the article describes the proper way to handle any proposed GMO: assess the pros and cons in a scientific manner to decide if it should be allowed. The blanket condemnation of GMOs is an illogical stance popularized and reinforced through electronic social media and will hopefully (eventually) die out like any fad. As the article points out, the leaders of the anti-GMO crowd are afraid that approving GM chestnut trees will open the door to other GMOs and might even make some of their followers see that not all GMOs are bad.
Couldn't read the article (didn't like their cookie espionage policy), so this is without the benefit of reading it. But "the leaders of the anti-GMO crowd are afraid that approving GM chestnut trees will open the door to other GMOs" - this is a very real worry, given the highly aggressive litigation practices indulged by particularly Monsanto: if they detect even the slightest crack in resistance to GMOs, they will push their biodiversity-eliminating and farmer-enslaving GMOs, wearing down the ability of nations to object by using repeated vexatious lawsuits highly costly to the defending nation. It may be regrettable, but the only workable defence against their hostile belligerence is a blanket ban. If Monsanto et al. had behaved more ethically in the first place, this whole question would probably never have arisen.
@Junglekeeper just posted a new thread describing a different approach: Restoring the American chestnut by researching its genome
Not a different approach but rather to reintroduce genetic diversity once development of the blight-resistant cultivar is complete.
ESF scientist who brought American chestnut tree back from the brink of extinction has died