Garth Buchanan may be right (Herald, Dec. 4). There may be no serious academic evidence against GMO agriculture. The corporate world has used mafia-style tactics to suppress, destroy and ruin the work and lives of anyone who has tried to publish opposing evidence. Quoting a professor from the University of California, Davis, which takes huge amounts of biotech industry money, is virtually equivalent to quoting from a biotech corporate brochure.
One of my students was at the University of California working in Berkeleys plant and microbiology department when it entered into a $25 million, five-year research agreement with Novartis, later Syngenta. The story she told was shocking and firsthand. Industry obfuscation and suppression of research by a Berkeley professor about the damage caused by atrazine has become a textbook example of corporate control and censorship of scientific research and the damage it does to faculties. Equally, GMO research is ferociously guarded and owned by the industry. And if they dont own results, they damage the creators of opposing views and discredit the research.
The callous disregard for human and environmental health in the face of profits is outrageous and teaches us to disbelieve anything said by the industry and its allies, or as Larry Lessig labels them in Republic Lost, their cognitive captures, of which Buchanan is one, if not worse. Buchanan has to know this history of suppression of scientific research. His omissions discredit anything he writes. To his disgrace, he depends on his readers ignorance.
Buchanans concern for feeding the world population is touching. Somehow I missed his concern for third world hunger and agriculture when we were destroying Third World farmers, undercutting them by dumping subsidized American grain (in violation of the WTO rules). Now that grain has been turned to ethanol, again subsidized by U.S. taxpayers, the world suffers rising food prices. And corporate monsters of GMO want to strong-arm Third World farmers into buying patented seed and chemicals. Later, unfortunately, we will think about the damage caused by the drawdown and pollution of the Ogallala Aquifer for these travesties.
Christine Eleanor Anderson