By Steve Talbott, Craig Holdrege
The Human Genome venture introduced in 2003 that it had effectively mapped the content material of the human DNA Scientists, politicians, theologians, and pundits speculated approximately what may stick with. "Beyond Biotechnology: The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering" distinguishes among hype and truth, reading the fragile dating among technological know-how and nature. Authors Craig Holdrege and Steve Talbott assessment the present kingdom of genetic technological know-how and think about its power functions, in addition to attainable risks. The authors illustrate how the preferred view of genetics doesn't contain an knowing of ways genes interact inside of organisms, contending that those simplistic perspectives bring about unrealistic expectancies and, eventually, unhappiness. Written for lay readers, "Beyond Biotechnology" is an available creation to the advanced international of genetic engineering.
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Extra resources for Beyond Biotechnology: The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering (Culture of the Land)
Breeding for high yield brings the loss of other vital characteristics (such as the ability to compete with weeds). Moreover, when the crops are planted in large monocultures, there is no getting around the increased use of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides). In Will Biotech Feed the World? • 31 other words, Green Revolution agriculture means importing a whole environment that makes higher yields possible. While per capita food production in South America and India, for example, has increased during the last three decades, the number of hungry people has increased at an even greater rate (Rosset and Mittal 2000 and 2001; see also Rosset 2005).
Asking African farmers to invest in Green Revolution technology meant asking them to invest in fragile plants in a harsh landscape. Cereal yields in Africa have barely increased over the past 30 years and stand at a meager 1 ton per hectare; per capita food production is stagnant” (Conway and Sechler 2000, 1685). High-yielding Green Revolution varieties have high yields only under certain conditions. They require large doses of fertilizer and irrigation. Breeding for high yield brings the loss of other vital characteristics (such as the ability to compete with weeds).
This example illustrates that when we work with more complexity, interactions and “unintended consequences” arise that tend to have positive overall effects. In contrast, when we strive to decrease complexity—as in a monoculture where soil fertility practices are replaced with fertilizers—we create a system that tends to create more one-sided negative unintended effects, such as pollution and disease susceptibility. Sustainable agriculture is much more than a set of new techniques. It provides the basis for a rejuvenation of land-based communities and greater food production and security.
Beyond Biotechnology: The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering (Culture of the Land) by Steve Talbott, Craig Holdrege