Re: [Re: Suicide Seeds on the Fast Track]

From Lorax <>
Date Wed, 29 Mar 2000 15:56:02 +0000 (GMT)

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On Tue, 28 Mar 2000, Ben Earnhart wrote:

> Or maybe there are nuances to the issue I'm missing?  Several postings (and
> sites I've gone to for information) have had this same apparent logical
> flaw, and I'm wondering if I just missed something. 

The plants have to reproduce "enough" to produce fruit.  As an example, each 
kernel in an ear of corn has to be pollinated before it will grow, but the 
finished kernel will be sterile in the "gengeneered" plants and unable to 
grow a new stalk of corn. 

I see a greater issue in the evil economics of the situation, as these terminator
crops are being sold to farmers as part of a solution to the "toxification" of
their soil by herbicides like RoundUp.  I don't think the "suicide function"
*can* be well-implemented, because we are toying with our ecosystem, reducing
the biodiversity, while toying with the DNA of plants.  Selective breeding,
grafting and cloning are methods that have been used for centuries by farmers,
and have resulted in many of the foods we enjoy, but we know very little about
how plants with "tweaked" DNA will adapt or interact with their more "natural"
cousins, and since the "solution" is to a problem caused by the mass application
of herbacides, it's very unnecessary.


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