“Monsanto is not alone in the research and development of crops designed to ward off destructive pests and disease, to require reduced pesticide applications, and to increase nutrition and yield in areas with traditionally poor showing for both.
Some of these pioneering life science research centers are for-profit firms. Some are government agencies. Others are academic institutions also working to find new ways to bolster the world’s food supply and alleviate hunger. In one form or another, these agriculture research operations are found in nations around the world: in China, Japan, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, India, Australia, France, Switzerland, Germany, the U.S., etc. Burdensome local biases against intellectual freedom so necessary for science to thrive cause many of these firms to operate out of research centers located in the United States. One key component common to each grouping of scientists is how to achieve their goals without contributing more deleterious stress on the environment.
Regardless of the number of firms in the biotech field and despite the promise and products of this research, the harshest criticism, not praise, is reserved for Monsanto. …
Arguably, to characterize Monsanto’s century plus of labor as completely chivalrous, saintly and beyond reproach is to present only the “glass half full” portrait of the company and the chemical industry in general. The history of the field and firm is hardly free from legitimate environmental concerns. The most egregious include a horrific legacy of indifference in waste disposal. Admittedly most of the offensive practices by Monsanto and others took place during an era, before the birth of environmentalism in the 1970s, when newspaper empires embodied in the great dailies such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, when Members of Congress, the nations cities, factories and everyone else flushed raw sewage and piped every type of industrial and human waste into our waterways, forests, oceans and wild lands. It was an accepted practice with no evil to the earth intended. That’s just what everyone did without regard to the immediate or long-term consequences.”
The above text is from The International Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources website with the article at http://biotech.ifcnr.com/article.cfm?NewsID=500.
This is Part 2 of ‘GM Food Crops’. Part 1 was posted on 8th June.