Showing posts from October, 2021

Hey Goofballs, Science is Not a Popularity Contest

Starting a few weeks ago the European Commission began a public feedback period on the regulation of gene edited crops.  Gene editing is a relatively non-invasive, rapid way to make precise genetic alternations of crops to improve specific traits. Changes made frequently emulate natural variations.  The EU has had excessively harsh restrictions on transgenic technology, not approving any new genetically engineered crops in decades. Activists wish for the same hyper-rigorous repression of technology to be applied to new plant genetic improvement techniques.  EU farmers and scientists almost universally feel that the technology could have some benefit, and should be part of the region's technologies.  So when the European Commission opened a public comment period, it was spammed by an avalanche of identical and near-identical comments that were distributed by anti-biotech groups.  No thinking, just copying and pasting as they were told to.   The European Commission asked for scientif

Seed Sovereignty? Not So Fast Farmers...

 For the last 25 years I've listened to the tired argument that Monsanto controls farmer seed choice.  Over and over again. Even since the hated seed company has ceased to exist, I still hear the same boring trope.  This is the position of activist groups and their parrots, and others that never actually tried to tell a farmer what they would be allowed to grow on their space.  Farmers choose what is best for their land, their schedule, their budget, input availability, and dozens of other factors.  Cotton, corn, soybean canola and sugarbeet growers oftentimes choose genetically engineered seeds containing the traits that serve their production system and support their bottom line.  Farmers control farmer seed choice. Unless you are a corn farmer in Mexico that wishes to use traited seeds.  Anti-biotech activists feel that Mexican farmers should have the unrestricted freedom to choose any maize varieties they wish to plant -- from the list of  activist-approved varieties .  Activi