Green and Greener
Environmentalism, Agriculture, and GM Plants
Ironic in many ways is the opposition that environmental activists have shown toward transgenic crops. They oppose biotechnology in general: today’s transgenic plants that have indirect environmental benefits and those transgenic plants of the future that are explicitly designed to have direct environmental benefits. It is also ironic that the modern environmental movement was largely started in response to overuse of agricultural chemicals as described in the seminal book Silent Spring. Transgenic plants that are insect-resistant have made the need for many chemical insecticides obsolete. Several prominent green groups are examined with regards to their positions on transgenic plants. Their blanket hostility towards biotechnology is ubiquitous, as is their equally enthusiastic embrace of organic agriculture. Paradoxically, mass organic farming would require far more energy and land to feed the world than utilizing the best technologies available, including biotechnology.
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