The debate needs to be about how our regulatory structure has sold out to industry, which is represented by a highly concentrated, centralized power structure that controls our conventional food system. It needs to be about holding the food system and our government accountable. Most important, it needs to demand that companies and the government do what is right, just and fair.
“A Seedy Practice” criticized the limitations to research on commercial, patent-protected seed products. While considerable research is currently being conducted on these products, 27 individuals from the research community and the seed industry who convened this past June in Ames, Iowa, achieved significant progress and alignment. The seed industry committed itself to a set of principles that continue and strengthen the support for public-sector research on commercially available, patent-protected seed products. The principles were approved by the American Seed Trade Association and by the Biotechnology Industry Organization in September, and a final version will be publicly available in December.
Andrew W. LaVigne
President and CEO
American Seed Trade Association
It’s No Life
I’m glad to see malaria addressed in your magazine, as Jeffrey D. Sachs does in “Good News on Malaria Control” [Sustainable Developments]. The problem I have with celebrating good results from mass distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets is that it encourages the world to turn to other more pressing health threats.
I live near the equator in West Africa, and mosquitoes generally become active as it is getting dark between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. To suggest that everyone should run off to bed at that time is incompatible with the normal quality of life. Separation of people from the mosquito by using nets is only a temporary solution. The mosquito itself needs to be dealt with.
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Note: This article was originally printed with the title, "Nukes; Neandertals; GM Crops."