Thursday, 18 September 2008

GMO news

Auf Wiedersehen, agbiotech
Henry I Miller The Hoover Institution, 434 Galvez Mall, Stanford University, Stanford, California

"In April, the rector and external advisory board of Nürtingen-Geislingen University "urgently recommended" that a faculty member terminate his field trials, which had begun in 1996, on insect-resistant and fungus- resistant recombinant DNA- modified corn. [...]
Also in April, the Justus Liebig University announced that it would stop its planned initiation of two small field trials of insectresistant recombinant DNA-modified corn after protests by activists and local politicians [...]
Germany is the only country in which the universities--which are normally refuges dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and to the freedom to perform legitimate research--have fully capitulated to hoodlums. One might expect such deplorable, dastardly behavior in Russia or Sudan, but in a major Western democracy it is inexcusable. [...]
This capitulation to the vilest sort of antiacademic and antisocial behavior is grotesque and has dire implications. Violent, antitechnology, antisocial activists of all sorts will now smell blood. If German universities continue along this path of circumscribing a kind of "Entartete Forschung", 'degenerate research', and allowing persecution of practitioners of certain intellectual approaches, such as the use of the most precise and predictable techniques for genetic modification, the stridency and absolutism of the activists' pronouncements--and their violent tendencies--will only increase. It is not hard to draw parallels with some of the excesses of intellectual persecution in the 1930s, when the regime's objections to Entartete Kunst, or 'degenerate art', drove out such great minds and innovators as Albert Einstein, Emil Nolde, Max Beckmann, Marc Chagall, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Edvard Munch and Pablo Picasso. Those who ignore the mistakes of history are destined to repeat them."

Come on, only two universities it seems have shown concerns over some genetic engineering research, it's highly grotesque to view it as a repression of the pursuit of true knowledge! In addition, the techniques used in genetic engineering are highly unpredictable and random, to claim they are precise is to try to make them seem to be something they are not. And, by the way, in what way does genetic engineering contribute to advance knowledge? And, most importantly, what legitimizes DNA manipulation?

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