When Technophobia Becomes Toxic

by Henry I. Miller Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is a fellow in scientific philosophy and public policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and was the founding director of the Office of Biotechnology at the US Food and Drug Administration. 01.03.2012


Given the health benefits – to say nothing of the often higher and more reliable yields – governments should introduce incentives aimed at increasing use of such genetically engineered grains and other crops. In addition, one would expect public-health advocates to demand that such improved varieties be cultivated and used for food, not unlike requirements that drinking water be chlorinated and fluoridated. And food producers that are committed to offering the safest and best products to their customers should be competing to get genetically engineered products into the marketplace.

Alas, none of this has come to pass. Activists continue to mount vocal and tenacious opposition to genetically engineered foods, despite almost 20 years of demonstrated, significant benefits, including reduced use of chemical pesticides (and thus less chemical runoff into waterways), greater use of farming practices that prevent soil erosion, higher profits for farmers, and less fungal contamination.
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