Sunday, February 22, 2009

Biotechnology companies don't want independent studies of their products ...

Who could have expected that the private gene manipulating companies would insist on prohibiting any study of their products not controlled by themselves? Couldn't be that they are afraid of the results and want to be in a position to censor any results they don't like?
Crop Scientists Say Biotechnology Seed Companies Are Thwarting Research.
"The growers’ agreement from Syngenta not only prohibits research in general but specifically says a seed buyer cannot compare Syngenta’s product with any rival crop. ...
[ ... ]
"Dr. Shields of Cornell said financing for agricultural research had gradually shifted from the public sector to the private sector. That makes many scientists at universities dependent on financing or technical cooperation from the big seed companies. “People are afraid of being blacklisted,” he said. “If your sole job is to work on corn insects and you need the latest corn varieties and the companies decide not to give it to you, you can’t do your job".”
In other words, just eat our genetically modified foodstuffs and be quiet while our experiment on the world works itself out.

I can see why some could start thinking that 'private sector' business is a problem when these private sector entities exert such potentially pernicious control over our food supply (not to mention private sector control of 'health care' that focuses on extreme profits rather than actual health issues and private sector manufacturing of toys and kitchen products that leach harmful chemicals and, and, and ...)

Of course, regulations and oversight, did at one time alleviate some private sector excesses. It would be encouraging to see a move in a direction of balance between the welfare of the many and the profit of the few.

A genetic engineering company prohibiting the study of its gene manipulated seeds is like a car manufacturer prohibiting anyone or any organization (eg Consumer Reports) testing vehicles which they purchase and reporting the results to the public on the characteristics of these vehicles. When you buy a vehicle, you don't sign a contract that prohibits you from learning about the product you just bought! Not that the manufacturers wouldn't like such an environment (one of the Japanese manufacturers did try to stop CR's reporting negative information about their products).

Congress needs to step in. Companies that effect the food supply must not be able to make up the rules to suit their own selfish interests.

Today's QUOTES:

What the Daddy party, remember that Republican self assigned moniker, has turned into: If this is “daddy,” it’s the dad on the billboard who owes 10 years’ worth of child support and who bears facial scars from the misfortune of being hunched over the meth lab when it exploded.

Banksters are indignant that they actually have to be accountable to anyone. They'd rather have to lay off entire floors of office workers than have to give back their precious penthouses. It's a very elite perspective.
--How Dare You Hand Me $25 Billion Dollars! by dday, Hullabaloo

... One of the things that creeps me out about the political system’s response to the crisis so far – the insolvency of the banking system in particular – are the increasingly desperate attempts to maintain a phony fa├žade of free markets and private enterprise, in an economy now utterly dependent on the federal safety net. I totally expected that from Hank Paulson and the Cheney Administration, but is Obama’s financial team really pressed from exactly the same Wall Street mold? [...] It’s not a good sign when societies routinely lie to themselves about such big, fundamental truths, which in turn suggests that toxic assets may not be the poison we most need to worry about ...
--Chocolate Covered Cotton by billmon,

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