Started conversation Aug 25, 2000
Not so very many years ago, it was thought to be a good thing to breed more productive crops and animals. If we could get more corn from one plant, it would feed more people. Many scientists were engaged in Plant Breeding programmes to achieve just that. Over the years we have bred more productive (in terms of output) cows, pigs etc etc.
Now the genetic engineers can take short cuts to achieve the same thing. But somehow it is now a bad thing. Why is that?
And, if my botany is well remembered, how will a field of genetically modified rape affect a neighbouring organic farm? No-one grows organic rape, for heavens sake. You can't pollinate, say, peas with rape pollen. The whole debate is hysterical, and I don't mean funny.
What I cannot agree with, however, is cross species genetic engineering. Trying to put plant genes in chickens etc. That way surely lies disaster.
Posted Aug 25, 2000
>Now the genetic engineers can take short cuts to achieve the same
>thing. But somehow it is now a bad thing. Why is that?
Well first off, the world does not need more food, we need to distribute the food we do grow more effectively. There has never been a famine in a democracy; in other words if the people can sling out the government, the government will not let them starve.
>how will a field of genetically modified rape affect a neighbouring
>organic farm? No-one grows organic rape, for heavens sake.
Oh yes they do!
>You can't pollinate, say, peas with rape pollen.
True, but you can pollinate rape with rape; soya with soya; maize with maize; etc. And then people who prefer not to eat GMOs no longer have that choice. Plant escapes will cross-polinate with other grops over 10s if not 100s of miles.
>The whole debate is hysterical, and I don't mean funny.
This I agree with. And the hysteria does not help at all. As I see it thate are a number of separate issues:
* The government is trotting out with the "scientists say its safe" line, again... which is insulting to citizen, and makes a large number of people feel powerless and disenfranchised.
* There is a personal freedom issue surrounding labelling. Because GMO soya cannot be traced properly in the US manufacturing chain, it is already almost impossible to know if the food you are eating is GMO-free. (Most manufactured food contains soya, and the US is the largest exporter of soya).
* There is the personal freedom issue surrounding cross polination, as I have already mentioned. Even if the food you eat comes from a non-GMO crop, it may not be GMO-free.
* There is also a freedom issue relating to farmers; if you are not an organic farmer, but you still chose not to grow GMOs, you cannot keep your crop is GMO free. This is one hell of an imposition on the individual farmer.
* There is the health issue relating to eating GMOs. Personally I am not that bothered; I think we ingest and breathe far more pollutants every day.
* There is the environmental issue relating to creating round-up ready crops; these will increase the number of herbicides used.
* And the health issue relating to eating crops which have been more heavily sprayed with herbicides. Now I do try to avoid the added chemicals which come free with food these days.
* There is the political issue of creating crops which are sterile and selling them to third world farmers; forcing them to pay (hard) currency for more seed the following year. How this one helps solve the problem of world poverty beats me.
* There is also the issue of transferring natural insecticidal properties from plants which are not intesively grown across vast acreages, to plants which are grown in just this way. We take out the insects at our peril.
So we have the personal freedom issues - which are considerable; the health issues - and the jury is clearly still out on this one; the political issues - which are mainly bullshit by the west and the pharmaceutical companies; and the environemental issues - which are the high stakes stuff. It is already to late to put the genie back in the bottle.
The really scary thing - as I have mentioned in another posting - is that the scientists who are doing this work are not life-scientists (botanists, zoologists). They are molecular chemists. They may never have studied any living systems at all. Scientists can combine arrogance with tunnel vision; and the Government does not have the nerve to force a showdown with Monsanto and Zeneca.
... oops I did not mean to create such a long posting - but hopefully it has been free of hysteria.
Posted Aug 25, 2000
... damn, moved the lap-top and hit the "post button" twice"!
Having resisted hysteria in the last posting how about this for a vision of the future:
Imagine a world where the human races fall into 4 categories:
Uglies - us - the un-modified
Brainies - selected for high-IQs by the sort of parents who think it is a good thing to send their 10 your old Mathematical genius off-spring to Cambridge
Beauties - whose looks and personality depend on which stars were famous 10 months before they were born to the vaccuous and emotionally inadequate - what would Brooklyn be like if Posh and Becks could actually have chosen his looks and abilities?
And finally - Horrors - where the programming failed, but this was not detected in time to abort.
And then imagine a world where the Brainies and the Beauties consider themselves a separate species - and can therefore justifiably persecute and discriminate against the rest of us... a world where Hitler looks like someone from a Gitanes ad.
Posted Aug 26, 2000
Nice reply, Ben.
Well I am not so sure that the world doesnt need more food, or at least the right food in the right place. If your staple diet is sorghum for example, you dont need a shipload of corn from Canada, you need more Sorghum grown locally. If we can breed a type of Sorgum that is more drought resistant, more productive etc. is that not better, or do you want everyone to eat 'western' food. There are also arguments about small scale as opposed to industrial farming being better for land aand people. If crops can be developed in this way to aid that movement, is that not good?
India has been a democracy for 50 years now, and it is only in the last 20 years that famine has been kept at bay, and that is by no means permanent. I am sure there are other examples. I am not sure of your point, why would a dictator want to let his/her people starve?
As far as I know Rape is grown for use in the cooking oil industry, and grown principally for the subsidies. I cannot imagine why anyone would want to grow organic Rape. Name and address please! Ditto, soy beans. Maize I might accept. Cross pollination is unavoidable in the long run.
We go to a lot of trouble and expense as a society to select, train and educate scientists. Having done that, how can we then ignore the advice they give the rest of us, the non scientifically trained? Is all that education worthless? Why distrust it? If we pay someone to learn all about ballet, for example, we dont then turn round and say 'what do you know about dance?' or reject their advice or skill.
Personal freedom, dont make me laugh! You honestly think you and I are free. We are bound to Society, and even to the Government in more ways than I can begin to count.
Health issues. You are right, there are many worse things we put in our bodies.
Insects? Difficult this, most of the insect populations you are thinking of only exist because of the industrial agro-chemical approach we have taken to farming. They have adapted to that man-made environment. Those populations may change again. And isnt the point of GMO's to actually be more resistant to disease, and thus require less chemicals on the fields in the first place. Crocodile tears for Insects.
I was not aware that Zeneca are involved in GMO's. Are they not principally pharmaceuticals.
Posted Aug 26, 2000
You've come up with some pretty nifty points yourself. Some I think I can answer, and some have me stumped:
>If your staple diet is sorghum for example, you dont need a
>shipload of corn from Canada, you need more Sorghum grown
Agreed! But the West grows more food than it needs, which is why it is crazy to produce a technology which increased the amount of corn grown in Canada.
>If we can breed a type of Sorgum that is more drought
>resistant, more productive etc. is that not better,
This is a tricky one... I cannot produce an articulate argument to disagree with you, but I feel instinctively that the Pharmaceutical companies are looking for applications for their shiny new technology, and not doing this to help the third world. And the last thing that a 3rd world farmer needs is to have to pay dollars for western seeds.
> or do you want everyone to eat 'western' food.
>There are also arguments about small scale as opposed to
>industrial farming being better for land and people. If
>crops can be developed in this way to aid that movement, is
>that not good?
Ha Ha! And Monsanto are champions of small scale farming? Oops, lapsed into sarcasm there, but at least I wasn't hysterical! There used to be a peace slogan that "fighting for peace is like f--king for virginity". The farmers in the west who farm on a smaller scale tend to be the very ones least likely to want to farm GMOs. This is a sweeping genralisation, but the industrialised farms, farmed by contractors, are Monsanto's natural constituency.
>India has been a democracy for 50 years now, and it is only
>in the last 20 years that famine has been kept at bay, and
>that is by no means permanent.
India has horrific poverty, sure, but haven't the really bad famines in the sub-continent been in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Pakistan is certainly not a democracy, and regularly gets slung out of the Commonwealth for bad behaviour. They get let in again regularly, too, though.
The guy who first came up wit the famine-democracy link was an economist who won a Nobel Prize for the work.
>Why would a dictator want to let his/her people starve?
Why not? Think of Pol Pot, Imelda Marcos, and Saddam Hussein. They behave/d the way they did because they wanted to and they could.
>As far as I know Rape is grown for use in the cooking oil
>industry, and grown principally for the subsidies. I cannot
>imagine why anyone would want to grow organic Rape. Name and
Got me there. Well done!
>Ditto, soy beans.
I buy organic soya when I can. I have an allergy to milk and another to cheese, so I drink soya milk and eat meat.
>Maize I might accept. Cross pollination is unavoidable in
>the long run.
I am sure it is already here...
>We go to a lot of trouble and expense as a society to
>select, train and educate scientists. Having done that, how
>can we then ignore the advice they give the rest of us, the
>non scientifically trained? Is all that education worthless?
>Why distrust it? If we pay someone to learn all about
>ballet, for example, we dont then turn round and say 'what
>do you know about dance?' or reject their advice or skill.
This is one of the big myths we live under.
I assumed, like most people, that the guys developing GMOs are biologists. Biologists study living creatures; ecologists study ecosystems. But molecular chemists study neither. It is perfectly possible for someone to be working on GMOs who has never studied any life sciences at all, just various kinds of maths, physics and chemistry.
The point here is that these guys have no exposure to the way that living systems interract. Dawkins has written a book called The Extended Phenotype, in which he argues that there is no such thing as a gene "for" something. But that one species genes affects another species. For example, the insects that mimic plants are affected by the shape of the leaves of those plants. If you want to change the shape of the insects you could do it by changing either their genes, or those of their host plants. But the molecular chemists are ignoring cause and effect beyond their own labs. Literally. A friend of mine challenged a French chemist who was using modified bacteria in a process, but not destroying them afterwards. When my friend challenged her on the effects of letting these modified bacteria "lose" in the world (ie washing them down the drain) the French woman said "well, you can worry about that if you want to"
Combine this blind spot with the fact that they are used to being right, and other people do not have the nerve to challenge them, you have a dangerous combination. It is called hubris.
Governments do not expect scientists to be ignorant, but they are profoundly and dangerously ignorant outside their specialities. Do you ask a ballet dancer about tap, or samba, or breakdancing?
>Personal freedom, dont make me laugh! You honestly think you
>and I are free. We are bound to Society, and even to the
>Government in more ways than I can begin to count.
I agree with you on this one too - shall we cry instead? ;-(
>Health issues. You are right, there are many worse things we
>put in our bodies.
At least some of them are more fun!
>Insects? Difficult this, most of the insect populations you
>are thinking of only exist because of the industrial
>agro-chemical approach we have taken to farming. They have
>adapted to that man-made environment. Those populations may
Interesting... But isn't there a danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater? If the GMO crop next to my garden destroys the ladybirds, then I will have to spray my roses to get rid of the aphids. Mind you it might destroy the aphids too! Many plant species rely on insects to pollenate them, take out the insects, take out huge numbers of plants.
>And isnt the point of GMO's to actually be more resistant to
>disease, and thus require less chemicals on the fields in
>the first place. Crocodile tears for Insects.
There seem to be five main thrusts: plants which are resistant to herbicides so you can use more weedkiller; plants which are resistant to insects so you can use less insecticide; fruit with better storage properties; plants with sterile seed so you have to pay money for more seed next year; and something I was not aware of - the plants whcih are resistant to disease.
>I was not aware that Zeneca are involved in GMO's. Are they
>not principally pharmaceuticals.
Got me there too, though ICI did have a agrochemicals division in the 1980s, and ICI became Zeneca. They would grow greenhouses full of weeds in order to spray them with their latest products. I don't know for sure that they are involved in GMOs though.
I think that my main points are:
1 - we don't need the technology, if we want to solve 3rd world hunger then there are other ways. It is quite clear that there is not the political will to solve 3rd world hunger, and that being so, do we really think that GMOs will help?
2 - scientists are specialists, and not necesarily sources of good advice
3 - the technology is so damn dangerous that we really shouldn't be using it at all
Posted Aug 26, 2000
> "Now the genetic engineers can take short cuts to achieve the same thing. But somehow it is now a bad thing. Why is that?"
Because it's too darn fast! I'll add "too easy" to that too. Breeding required time, which limited the damage to local flora and fauna, because they could adapt. Hence, good. Whereas introduction of animals into a new environment, like cats into Australia, generally resulted in instant disaster, because the ecology couldn't adapt in time.
I'm in favour of every single heavy regulation the EU has come up with, and then some. Not because I think genemod is intrinsically bad, nor because I think it's against God. But I feel that fools are rushing in in a big way here.
> "What I cannot agree with, however, is cross species genetic engineering. Trying to put plant genes in chickens etc. That way surely lies disaster."
Posted Aug 27, 2000
Good point about the speed of it. I hadn't thought of the implications of that one.
Posted Aug 27, 2000
Well I'm going to bash on a bit more, even though you're trying to nuke me with sheer volume.
Lets get the target right. Pharmaceutical companies - e.g. Zeneca - are not the enemy here (maybe in other contexts, but not here) it is the agro-chemical producers. Very different animals.
Instinctively, a third world farmer should not be buying GM seed from western companies, but think about it. Why not? If said farmer can double his crop, providing himself with the wherewithal to do so, and at the same time produce more product at, presumably, less unit cost, why not? What is so sacrosant about nationality? Why can't a poor man buy from a rich man?
Sure I understand about Monsanto and their constituency, but they are not the only players in this. There are many small companies across the world involved in this work, attached to Universities etc. whose motives and targets are very different.
Well, I am not going to argue with a Nobel prize winner. Hell, yes I will, why not! I think Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Chad, Mozambique are, these days, democracies of a sort. I am not sure about Sudan & Eritrea.
I take your point about soya beans, but please be careful. I suspect that many so-called 'organic' foods, certainly the large scale products, are labelled 'organic' in less industrialised countries for marketing reasons rather than any conversion to the organic cause. Your soya may well be grown in Mexico or China, for example, under very relaxed legislation and semi industrial methods, and not, as you may imagine, tended by an idealist motivated only by thoughts of your well-being. (Cynicism saves lives!)
The ladybirds in your garden are only there because they like aphids. The aphids are there because they like your (man-made) roses. I dont see how either would be affected by a neighbouring field of GM soya beans.
To your five thrusts, add biomass plants (Plants that are being bred specifically as fuel for Power Stations) and weird stuff (I read just today of goats with a spider gene that will produce "threads" in their milk for use as very lightweight strong material to succeed carbon fibres!)
The biggest bee in your bonnet seems to be 'Scientists'. This genetic molecular science is very very complicated stuff. It takes, I suppose, a very specialised type of mind (like ballet dancers and their bodies) and a specialised education. I suspect that you must be on the same track all the time, and cannot switch from biology to molecular science once you have gone down the track too far. I remember 30 years ago (my god!) being asked for Physics and Chemistry qualifications to study molecular biology. My precious Biology was considered quite unnecessary, and maybe even indicative of the wrong type of mind. (I didn't do it, btw)
What you could press for would be a supervisory structure to oversee the steering of research, but do you not get that anyway within a company structure, a University structure, and don't most (democratic) Governments do that. Be more wary of what may be going on in Russia, China, Indonesia etc. where the same wariness may not apply.
Your bacteria flusher should be shot, and I think that he/she could not have been working in a reputable company or organisation. There are very strict rules governing this sort of thing.
MRD, conventional plant/animal breeders work pretty fast too. More than anything else I've been thinking about your last point, about cross species-engineering, and I don't know the answer (see goat example above), so I'll join Ben on that one and say 'I just don't like it!'.
Posted Aug 27, 2000
Transgenic crops are a double edged sword. If you put things like insulin into potatoes (they have) then it suddenly makes it become a lot easier to produce insulin for diabetics. The danger comes from two sources.
1. We don't (and to a certain extent can't) know the consequences of adding a new gene where it never was before. This is basically the equivalent of changing random bytes in a computer program, you just don't know what it will affect.
2. If you put the genes into seed or pollen producing plants, then it is uncontainable. The seeds and pollen go where the wind and the polenators take it. You get around this by putting the genes into things that wont pollenate or bear seeds until after you are due to harvest them, or you put the genes into things like potatoes that duplicate not through pollen, but through tubers.
The point about the scientists, is that you have groups hiring scientists for advertising purposes. That is basically appealing to authority, rather than science, and the scientists have proved that as authorities, they can't be trusted, as the nuclear and pesticides debates have shown.
Posted Aug 27, 2000
Well yes, there's truth in that.
1) Of course potatoes pollinate, and they produce flowers and pollen way before the tubers.
2) Are you suggesting the Monsantos of the world sit around and think up new products and then go out and buy some scientists to make them 'respectable'.
I think we are in great danger here of demonising the whole 'science' and, to reverse Bens previous metaphor, throwing the baby out with the bathwater. If we can produce insulin from potatoes rather than farming pigs for the purpose, I for one think that it is a good idea to expolore the possibility. If we can produce power by burning engineered plants rather than fossil fuels or nuclear, then I for one prefer that option.
You can't blame scientists for the problems of the Nuclear Industry without including the Politicians (i.e. our representatives) nor can you blame them for inventing pesticides at the behest of the agriculture industry, which is driven by us, the customers wanting ever cheaper food. Thats like blaming ballet dancers for some modern dance format we don't like.
Posted Aug 27, 2000
>Well I'm going to bash on a bit more, even though you're trying
>to nuke me with sheer volume.
Actually, your points are well made, and deserve individual (un-hysterical) respones. Besides which it is fun.
>Pharmaceutical companies are not the enemy here it is the
>agro-chemical producers. Very different animals.
>Instinctively, a third world farmer should not be buying GM
>seed from western companies, but think about it. Why not? If
>said farmer can double his crop, providing himself with the
>wherewithal to do so, and at the same time produce more product
>at, presumably, less unit cost, why not? What is so sacrosant
>about nationality? Why can't a poor man buy from a rich man?
There are a variety of issues here. One is forcing the 3rd world to buy stuff in dollars, which they just don't have. The second is that a huge amount of Western technology/cultural imports into the 3rd world have been disasterous for the 3rd world, though I cannot specify these.
Basically third world hunger is a major problem, but I am SERIOUSLY unconvinced that GMOs are the solution. I admit, I am just repeating myself. Maybe I'll have to do some checking up to back up my points more effectively. (Which will at least keep me quiet! )
>Sure I understand about Monsanto and their constituency, but
>they are not the only players in this.
Yup, I just don't know who the others are. I admit to being marginally more laid back about the academics.
>Well, I am not going to argue with a Nobel prize winner. Hell,
>yes I will, why not! I think Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Chad,
>Mozambique are, these days, democracies of a sort. I am not
>sure about Sudan & Eritrea.
Uganda has the best AIDS programme in Africa, and the lowest percentage of deaths through AIDS, I don't know when their last famine was. It is incredibly poor, not helped by the legacy of Amin, and the tourist killings there a few years ago.
As I understand it Ethiopia was not a democracy during the major famines of the 80s and 90s, and it went a long way towards causing the famines in Sudan and Eritrea. Famine as an act of war.
I thought Mozambique was a war-zone?
Perhaps it would be more correct to say that there has never been a famine in a country which is a democracy and not at war. The Dutch were fairly efficiently starved towards the end of WWII.
>Your soya may well be grown in Mexico or China, for example,
>under very relaxed legislation and semi industrial methods.
Yes, I know. A lot of the food which comes from outside the west and is labled organic, earns its labling on the rather dubious grounds that the farmers are too poor to by chemicals. But the more people buy products which are labled organic, the greater the economic pressure to increase organic husbandry everywhere. And the greater pressure to lie on the lables, of course. Other bad things about organic foods: they don't keep as well, and are more likely to be infected with e-coli from manure! However I feel great when I manage a 90% organic diet - anything less than that and I can't tell I'm eating them.
>I dont see how either ladybirds or aphids would be affected by
>a neighbouring field of GM soya beans.
They would be if the GM crops were insecticidal.
>To your five thrusts, add biomass plants (Plants that are being
>bred specifically as fuel for Power Stations) and weird stuff
>(I read just today of goats with a spider gene that will
>produce "threads" in their milk for use as very lightweight
>strong material to succeed carbon fibres!)
That IS wierd! Spiderman's mother was a goat?
>The biggest bee in your bonnet seems to be 'Scientists'.
Burn 'em for witches I say!
More seriously, it is the blind faith that Governments have in scientists, and the fact that they seem to think if someone is a genetic engineer, then their opinion will be equally valid about ecology.
Case in point: my father-in-law was a chemistry lecturer; when his daughter was telling him that her geography dissertation was going to be on the localised differences between the flora within a particular alpine valley, he told her the reason (one side faces north, and the other south). But that was not the case (I think either one faced east and the other west, or that the flora more appropriate to the south side grew on the north side). The basic point is he came very rapidly and confidently to a hypothesis which was not only wrong, but in a field which was way outside his speciality.
It is this combination of authority in one area, ignorance in others, and absolute confidence in delivery, which is dangerous because Governments trust the confidence and do not challenge the authority.
>I remember 30 years ago (my god!)
>being asked for Physics and Chemistry qualifications to study
>molecular biology. My precious Biology was considered quite
>unnecessary, and maybe even indicative of the wrong type of
>mind. (I didn't do it, btw)
Doesn't this support my view that just because someone (metaphorically) looks down a microscope, it doesn't mean they also (metaphorically) look out of the window? My argument is that the people who are saying "it won't harm the environment" are NOT environmental scientists.
>What you could press for would be a supervisory structure to
>oversee the steering of research, but do you not get that
>anyway within a company structure, a University structure, and
>don't most (democratic) Governments do that.
If this was working, then wouldn't we be having the debate BEFORE the field trials, and not after them?
>Be more wary of
>what may be going on in Russia, China, Indonesia etc. where the
>same wariness may not apply.
Did you know that the main reason that Oppenheimer and co worked so furiously on nuclear research was because they beleived that the Germans' research was also focussing on atomic weaponry. In fact it wasn't, the Germans were concentrating on rocket science, and giant gliders. If there had been a greater culture of openness in the 20s and 30s, (which boiled down to a few specific individuals choosing to publish or not to publish for peer review), then there would have been no atomic weapons. Whether we would have just had 56 years of peace in Europe is another matter, and I for one would not be here, because the war with Japan would not have ended in 1945, and my father would probably have died there. Big side issue - but the question remains, is it valid to do research because if you don't someone else might? Answer - valid or not, we will, and they will, because its all a giant game of poker.
More to the point, yes, I am very afraid of what is happening in Korea, Pakistan, the Ukrain, Bellarus, and Iraq.
>MRD, conventional plant/animal breeders work pretty fast too.
>More than anything else I've been thinking about your last
>point, about cross species-engineering, and I don't know the
>answer (see goat example above), so I'll join Ben on that one
>and say 'I just don't like it!'.
Isn't it interesting where different people draw their lines? I actually take inter-species stuff less seriously, because it is easier to control the breeding of animals than plants. Mind you the wallabies in Leicestershire, and the mink all over the UK prove me wrong. Perhaps it is more obviously disgusting. I am rather queasy about breeding pigs for human transplants, but will happily eat pork.
My basic conclusions still stand:
1 - it is not the solution to world hunger
2 - Goverments are not sufficiently challenging the advice they are being given
3 - it is dangerous, irreversable, and completely unpredicatable and unstable
4 - the game is not worth the candle
Whew! I'm worn out by that lot. Can't we talk about chocolate icecream? And I have a really good recipe for chocolate mouse somewhere.
Posted Aug 27, 2000
*Asks question, wanting to know the answer*
Why can't we produce power by burning existing kinds of plants?
Damn! I wasn't going to get drawn back into this one!
Posted Aug 27, 2000
We can burn existing plant. and it works very well. The only problem, is that most of the best plants for burning are either weeds, or food. If you grow the weeds, it makes you really unpopular with your neighbours. And the food is so expensive, that it is too good to burn.
The thing about the scientists is not that they are immoral, or wrong.
It is that (to use the tobacco industry as an example) the tobacco industry funds and publishes the research that suports the tobacco industry's case, (and if it doesn't turn out right, they bury it), and the anti smikong brigade fund and publish the anti tabacco research, (again burying the inconvenient stuff). As I say, scientists being used as advertising. There is also the problem that you spotted that a scientist speaking outside his specialities is a bigger ass than an ignorant man speaking outside his specialities. (the ignorant man doesn't know any better, the scientist should).
Posted Aug 27, 2000
Its not so much that scientists speaking outside their specialities are asses, it is that Governments beleive them.
How well do you know the UK Xyroth? Our goverment told us that beef was safe for years... but by June or July this year there have been more deaths from NV-CJD (between 10 and 20 I think) than there were in the whole of 1999. And there were more in 1999 than there were the year before.
Posted Aug 27, 2000
I know the uk too well. I live in boston links, and have cycled (on a push bike no less) everywhere from hunstanton to peterborough, and all the way across to telford and ironbridge, taking in nottingham and derby, and birmingham along the way.
Posted Aug 27, 2000
woops, that should have been boston, lincs. And I think in the case of nv-cjd the government have been lied to a lot. Anyway, that is more to do with bad animal husbandry than genetic engineering.
Posted Aug 27, 2000
Oh, BSE is nothing to do with Genetic engineering at all. My point is that the Government lied to us, and were pretty selective about whose advice they took before they did so.
Besides which, I really want to be allowed to hate John Selyn Gummer with a warm and satisfying hatred. I can't do that if I think he was the innocent victim of lying scientists, now can I?
Why can't governments say "we don't know?" There wouldn't exactly be rioting in the streets if they did.
That is a LOT of cycling, btw!
Posted Aug 28, 2000
You are not kidding that it was a lot of cycling, in 3 years, i did 3,000 miles. Of course, that was before I came down with chronic fatigue syndrome. By the wa what do you mean "BTW".
Posted Aug 28, 2000
There will be chocolate ice cream all round when, and only when, you have constructed an argument based on logic, common sense and rational explanation, and not before!
I shall return to pick up the threads as soon as I can spare the time out.
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