Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Michael Pollan possibly a hypocrite?

Although I am excited about the Botany of Desire documentary (mostly due to the subject of Khazakistan wild apples as well as the section on Marijuana, as well as an appearance by Phillip Forsline of ARS GRIN Geneva) I have always questioned Michael ...Pollan, and now more than ever, I'm thinking he is just another tool. Now he suddenly supports "open source" genetic engineering...absolutely not....playing god/artifically manipulating DNA is not our place.

The Botany Of Desire documentary trailer:


jason said...

I agree with what you are saying. I enjoyed the botany of desire, some of his other books didn't get along so well with me though.

E said...

I agree with Jason, He's good making himself an expert. I read and laughed at his "I'm building a house by myself" book. One architect to design it, one carpenter to help him every weekend for a year (it's 8 x 12 ft I think). I wouldn't call that "myself".
BoD had some interesting bits.

Patrick said...

I basically like Michael Pollan, and mostly agree with what he says, but I'm also getting real tired of him. He is much more into grabbing your attention with sensational things like marijuana plants and the rallying call against Monsanto, then he is about issues like biodiversity and world hunger. He talks about good things, but he dumbs down his material and avoids the most contentious and often most important issues.

For what it's worth, I do agree with him somewhat on the issue of what he calls open source 'GE' (genetic engineering).

Genetic manipulation of plants is neither good nor bad, it just is. Genetic engineering is simply a scientific tool. It's well documented, the genie is out of the bottle and it is what it is.

It's like you can say abortion is bad, but in fact an abortion is only a medical procedure. You could discuss further when it should or shouldn't be used, if it's ethical or desirable and so on. The medical procedure itself is neither good nor bad, it's just what it is. You can't erase the knowledge of this procedure or expect it to go away.

The problem with genetic engineering at the moment is like Michael Pollan says is because of how it is being applied, tested for safety, the rights of it are being controlled and they types of plants being created with it. There's little doubt in my mind there is nothing good about the way it's currently being used. It's also possible there are no good or acceptable ways to use it, but honestly I think we don't really know this now.

Making genetic engineering 'open source', getting rid of all the current politics and governance of it is certainly a first step in the right direction. At least then it would be open to everyone to study and learn from.

Some genuine safety testing and legislation is also needed, to protect the environment and our health.

The real key is to get full disclosure and honesty in the making of GMOs, then we can start talking about what's good or bad or right or wrong. Right now it's just all such nonsense, there's nothing to do but stand resolutely against it in every way possible.