Mr. C.S. spotted this one, and it's a doozie, if one stops to ponder carefully what's being said. And I have to admit, when I read this, I felt sadly vindicated. Why? Because a few years ago, when blogging about the potential trans- or cross-species effects of GMOs, an interloper angrily accused me of saying things I wasn't actually saying; my "potential trans-species effect" had been translated into an accusation that I was more or less saying that eating a bacon and egg breakfast doesn't turn one into a pig or a chicken. My point rather was that with the lack of adequate long term trans-generational testing of GMOs, we did not really know what, if any, the trans-species effects might be, nor did we really know if they might be "cumulative" in nature.
Well, not to worry, because I.G. Farbensanto is now proposing this precise mechanism to deal with the effects of... well, I'll just let you read it for yourself:
Here's the central core of their "solution" from the article:
Transgenic methods are being touted as the answer to the overuse of chemical pesticides because the crop itself would be killing the pests and there would be no further need for chemicals.
Pest control through genetic crop modification has seen plants producing proteins that are toxic to insects in the past leading to questions about what those toxins are doing when consumed by humans.
This new form of genetic modification, however, does not produce a toxin – but produces RNA fragments that then affect the insects’ genes. In other words, because Big Ag has created a crisis of overuse of dangerous pesticides, Big Ag is now providing a solution. This solution is more genetic modification, however. What was once a business plan has now become extortion. (emphasis added)
Now, I hope you caught what is being advocated here. In effect, what they want to do is introduce a genetic modification that can cross from the plant to the insect, and then interfere with the insects' RNA and ultimately its reproduction.
Voila! solution found! No more nasty insects.
Uh huh. And if you believe this latest bait-and-switch from I.G. Farbensanto, then I have a few bridges for sale in the boroughs of New York City, cheap. (Cash or gold only, please, and if paying in cash, make it in yuan.)
Now, if you're like me, you'll have seen the twin dangers here immediately. The first is mother nature, who can adapt her insects much faster than humans can tinker with their genes via ingesting genetically modified plants and then bringing them to market. And of course, that will prompt yet another round of genetic modifications to deal with the adaptation, and so on.
Yes, these people really are that stupid, and that greedy.
But the second danger is even more disturbing, for after all, if one can engineer such a trans-genetic modification that can pass from plant into this or that insect and modify its RNA and interfere in its reproduction, is it not possible that that very same effect, in spite of all best intentions and scientific precautions taken against it, might do the same into whatever other species might be eating said plants, say, cattle? or humans?
And then combine the two possibilities: for if mother nature will adapt to the modification faster than humans can come up with a new modification to address the modification done by good old fashioned evolution, that means that modifications might occur within those species - say, cattle and humans - in response to their tinkering.
There's a solution to all this, of course, and that's to bust these agribusiness trusts, and to level the playing field once again, and allow seed manufacturers that sponsor the sale of non-GMO seeds a level playing field. And that means revoking the privilege that these companies have bought from politicians and government agencies and corporate "science." Indeed, even though I'm opposed to mercantilism of all sorts, on this issue, I'm willing to entertain the idea of special privileges for sellers and growers of natural, non-GMO seeds.
See you on the flip side...