Friday, September 20, 2002

Is Exorcist another Enron partnership? No (well, not as far as we know), it's a way to remove transgenes from transgenic crops. after you grow them but before you eat them. I can't think of a better demonstration of scientific contempt for "public opinion." Although the technique could be useful for problems other than said opinion, e.g. gene transfer. [the article from Nature Biotechnology is here.]

And WSJ Europe ran an article by Brandon Mitchener about Europe's impending irrelevance because of its resistance to GM technology.

The situation is worse for academic researchers without the deep pockets of private industry. But the most frustrated of all are scientists on government payrolls. Their jobs are supposed to be to find ways to improve local crop varieties for the benefit of local farmers. As in the rest of the world, that challenge increasingly involves genetic engineering in the laboratory. But in Europe, government scientists spend as much time trying to convince their bosses and the public of the value of their research as they do tinkering in the lab.
Poor scientists, having to explain what they're doing to the people they're trying to inflict it on. and paying for it... Also revealed is the detail that one GM crop is approved in the EU: corn, for pig feed, in Spain. Better stick to the acorn-fed Serranos.
[the article is quoted way down at the bottom of this newsletter, if you can't find WSJ Europe on your newstand.]


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