On most issues, the public debate follows a normal distribution curve, with the majority in the ‘muddled middle’. That’s not proving to be the case in the increasingly heated discussion over ’3 parent babies’.
The list of available pre-natal genetic screening tests is growing. The tests are non-invasive and generally have a low false-positive rate, but the increasingly accurate tests may create ethical dilemmas for parents.
Svante Pääbo’s memoir of how he came to lead a project to sequence the Neanderthal genome— Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes— is at heart about sex. Sex in the sense of sexual behavior, not biological sex.
Last week the anti-biotech group GMO Inside called on Starbucks to serve only organic milk, thereby eliminating GMOs, in its 20,000 plus stores located in 62 countries. But it looks like Starbucks won’t be changing its menu anytime soon.
The name of Chipotle’s Hulu series says it all. “Farmed and Dangerous” is, according to the restaurant chain, a “comedy series that explores the outrageously twisted and utterly unsustainable world of industrial agriculture.” Not surprisingly many farmers have taken issue with the portrayal of their livelihoods.
GM crops modified with the bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) produce natural proteins that kill pest insects, dramatically reducing the need for pesticide spraying. Critics have warned that those crops might soon develop resistance, eventually requiring a resumption of spraying. A Cornell University study allays many of those fears.
Dinosaurs are not on the de-extinction agenda, but that doesn’t mean that the philosophical questions raised by Jurassic Park are irrelevant. What does bringing back extinct species (or approximations thereof) mean for our relationship with nature?
A new “GLP Voice” from our growing stable of guest contributors: Quebec organic farmer Rob Walbridge says organics and GMOs can co-exist just fine–it requires more reasonableness from skeptics and a pro-active labeling commitment by GM producers. What’s your position?